Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) recently announced selections for the Sailors of the Year, including Sailor of the Year, Junior Sailor of the Year and Bluejacket of the Year.
Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Clint Garrett said this year’s selection highlights Sailors who are taking the lead and doing great things for the Navy.
“It’s always great to know that the future of our great nation, the Navy and Navy Medicine is being passed on to individuals of such character and high caliber professionalism,” he said.
Leading petty officer (LPO) for the Directorate of Administration and Directorate of Resources Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shaun L. Kestner was named NMPDC Sailor of the Year. He said he was surprised, but glad for the opportunity to recognize others.
“I couldn’t have done this without my team,” he said. “The biggest reward here is bringing light to the quality of Sailors that I have, who work with me every day.”
Kestner said his views on leadership include being able to recognize and balance both the needs of the Navy and the needs of the Sailor.
“Today’s Navy isn’t like my grandfather’s Navy when he served in World War II. The needs are different. We’re more family centric now,” he explained. “You have to take into consideration - especially at a shore billet - you’re going to have exceptional family members, you’re going to have persons that are going through a divorce, you’re going to have humanitarian orders that are cut for people to come in, you’re going to have individuals with limited duty, light duty and med boards. You have to figure out how to make them a viable part of the team, but at the same time, give them the opportunity to get to their appointments, to go meet with lawyers, to go meet with doctors, to go meet with childcare representatives and all those different circumstances.”
Leading petty officer isn’t the only hat Kestner wears, however. He’s volunteered on NMPDC’s Command Color Guard, served as a command fitness leader, and served as president of the First Class Petty Officer association. He’s also a certified emergency medical technician and trained officer in charge, volunteering with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Academy.
With all of that, it may not be surprising to learn that this isn’t the first time he’s been recognized. In 2009, he was selected as the Junior Sailor of the Year for 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.
Kestner has been with NMPDC for two years.
Naval Postgraduate Dental School Directorate Periodontics Clinic LPO Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Andre Delaine was selected NMPDC Junior Sailor of the Year. According to his nomination package, Delaine served as an assistant command casualty calls officer, performing duties normally assigned to an officer or chief in the Navy, and provided more than 160 hours of “timely and compassionate care to a family in their time of need.”
He said in his leadership moments, he’s learned to listen better. “It’s 80 percent communication and 20 percent real work. I would wonder, some days, why I would leave and not really get too much work done. Coming to this position of leadership, I learned the communication aspect is key to any successful enterprise. I always have an open door. People tell me everything about themselves. No matter what’s going on, people always want to talk. If you listen to everyone and learn to be empathetic about it, then they know they can trust you and they work harder for you.”
The one thing Delaine said he’d like to share with people who want to succeed is the idea of selflessness. “Never be selfish. It’s never about you,” he said. “When you take care of everyone else, you’re still taking care of yourself, but you’re giving selflessly.”
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Shawn Marshall also works in the Naval Postgraduate Dental School Directorate and was selected NMPDC Bluejacket Sailor of the Year.
Marshall works as the supply petty officer for the Endodontic Department and was recognized for his success when called upon to serve as the LPO in his department. He was also recognized for his multiple volunteer and collateral duties, including serving as the public affairs officer for the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions.
“I was in shock when I won,” he said. “I was happy. Being selected said to me that they saw all the hard work I’ve done. Coming in from field medicine to what I’m doing now was a big change for me. I was excited that my hard work paid off.”
His advice to other young Sailors starting out is to be assertive, “Stay focused, be dedicated. If opportunity knocks, open the door. Take the initiative. We are in control of our careers.”
Marshall has been with NMPDC for two years and is headed to San Diego for his next assignment.