Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) at Naval Support Activity Bethesda announced its recent selections for Junior Officer, Sailors and Bluejacket of the Year. Leaders cited the Sailors’ professionalism, exceptional performance and dedication to accomplishing the mission as reason for their selections.
Navy Lt. Kei Tate, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (HM1) Carlston Daniels, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (HM2) Donnell Proctor and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (HM3) Hayes Whitney earned NMPDC’s Junior Officer, Sailor, Junior Sailor and Blue Jacket of the Year for 2013 respectively.
“In all my years of service, one of the more challenging aspects as command master chief, or I would venture to say most any leader serving as a board member, is to select persons of the year from all the extremely qualified officers, enlisted and civilian personnel serving in our great Navy,” said NMPDC Command Master Chief Clinton A. Garrett Sr. “Competition is always keen, and there are usually only hairsplitting differences that exist amongst persons nominated that decide the outcome.”
Garrett praised those who earned the honors, adding, “their support of our command’s mission accomplishment, dedication to personal and professional excellence and board presentation, resulted in their selection as winners for 2013.”
NMPDC Junior Officer of the Year
Navy Lt. Kei Tate, NMPDC’s Junior Officer of the Year, is the assistant department head of Business Operations, responsible for the command’s audit readiness requirements. She also oversees the Managers Internal Control Program, Medical Inspector General (MEDIG) Self-Assessment and Command Evaluation Programs. “My position allows me to develop an understanding of a variety of command operations,” said the native of California.
“As a ‘Mustang’ officer, Lt. Tate possesses superb business acumen,” said Cmdr. Jason E. Spencer, head of NMPDC’s Business Operations in the Directorate of Resources. “Throughout 2013, she demonstrated an approachable, but mission-focused direction in bringing together diverse constituencies to successfully accomplish whatever needs to be done, whenever it needs to be done, and all the while making sure that it is done ‘the right way the first time.’ Cmdr. Tyrone Gilmore, our controller and director for resources, and I, very much appreciate her contributions to our command and staff.”
In the Navy for 14 years, Tate explained her godfather, a former chief, sparked her interest in the service. He would take her to see Navy ships, including the USNS Mercy in San Diego when she was 8 years old. “I would accompany him to doctor’s appointments at Naval Medical Center San Diego (Balboa Hospital). Needless to say, it sparked an interest in joining the Navy at an early age.
“The most rewarding part of being a Sailor is the ability to serve my country,” Tate continued. “I also love being able to mentor junior Sailors.”
She added it is an honor to be selected NMPDC Junior Officer of the Year. “I work really hard at everything I do; however, I know the competition was pretty tough. The best part of this is being able to set an example for junior Sailors in the command.”
In addition to her primary duties, Tate has a number of collateral duties within her command, including the command’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response point of contact, and Diversity Council Head. She also coordinates a mentorship program at Bethesda Middle School, and serves as a volunteer at a local church. “I am extremely passionate about all I do, and truly love helping people,” she said.
Tate encourages others to, “Do what you love. Don’t just take on a task because it looks good on an evaluation or fitness report. The reason I have been successful is because I like to take on tasks that challenge me to be a better person, and tasks that I can be truly passionate about.”
NMPDC Sailor of the Year
Hospital Corpsman Master Chief Peter Rona, senior enlisted leader for the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS), describes NMPDC Sailor of the Year, HM1 Carlston Daniels as “a superb Sailor who seems tireless as he helps me, and everyone throughout the day. I can count on him to handle issues usually entrusted to chiefs. He is always calm, professional and ready to take on any challenge.”
Daniels is NPDC’s administrative leading petty officer, responsible for tracking NPDS medical readiness; reviewing and routing correspondence, including Defense Medical Human Resources System – internet (DMHRSi) and Standard Labor Data Collection and Distribution Application (SLDCADA) information; and assisting in the completion of Career Development Boards, Reenlistments and C School packages for NPDS members.
“The most enjoyable part of my job is knowing that I helped someone, whether it’s assisting with a timecard or helping colleagues make a big career decision,” said Daniels, a native of Belize.
When he learned he received NMPDC Sailor of the Year, Daniels said he was shocked. “I had some tough competition; they were all deserving of this honor.”
Daniels said he looks to be a mentor to junior Sailors by not just doing his job exceptionally well, but also by volunteering for other duties in and out of his command.
“Be sure to do more than what is expected of you,” Daniels said. “Set goals, and when they are achieved, set more.”
NMPDC Junior Sailor of the Year
HM2 Donnell Proctor, a native of Washington, D.C., earned honors as NMPDC Junior Sailor of the Year.
“[He] is an outstanding leader and technician,” Rona said of Proctor. “He’s qualified as a dental prophylactic technician, and is able to take care several of patients on his own. He is also doing a tremendous job on the Presidential Dental Support Team.”
The assistant leading petty officer for NPDS, Proctor successfully balances clinical and administrative duties, and said the most rewarding aspect of his job is being able to assist others.
“Being a Sailor puts me in a position where I am able to help others,” said Proctor. “The most rewarding part of being a Sailor, for me, is seeing my protégées succeed and accomplish their goals.”
Proctor attributes his selection as NMPDC Junior Sailor of the Year to his mentors, and those whom he mentors. “My mentors continuously provided me with guidance and kept me on the path to success. Everything I learned from my mentors I’ve instilled in my mentees.”
He explained this guidance has included, “always being the example of exemplary performance in whatever you do, and grooming yourself to be the person who can inspire people to achieve greater success.”
In addition to his primary duties, Proctor also participates with the Junior Enlisted Association, Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), Command Training Team, Career Development Team and Command Recreation Committee.
NMPDC Blue Jacket of the Year
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Hayes Whitney, NMPDC Blue Jacket of the Year, explained that he joined the Navy because he wanted to serve overseas. “After two combat tours to Afghanistan, I have accomplished that goal.”
As clinic management course assistant/student support, Whitney travels “all over the world to facilitate courses on how to better run a specific part of a military treatment facility. I also am a direct liaison to all of the NMPDC academic course directors for technical issues.” He is instrumental in the administrative, supply and logistic support of 46 Joint Medicine Continuum courses and a $2 million budget.
“I enjoy interacting with our students,” Whitney added. “We have active duty come from all over the world to take our courses, and getting to network here is unlike anywhere else in the Navy.”
The North Carolina native said what he finds most rewarding about his job is, “the look on people’s faces when you help them. It doesn’t take a thank you, all it takes is a smile and from that, I know I have accomplished my mission.”
As the other NMPDC honorees, Whitney attributes his success to his colleagues. “I am proud to honor my leadership with this goal. My team has had my back from day one, so this is an award for all of us.”
Also involved with CSADD, Whitney encourages others to, “work hard and be fair. Good things come to people who are outgoing but also who stand their ground on things they believe are right. Always do what you believe in your heart is the right thing.”
Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jaymie A. Brinkmeier, senior enlisted leader in NMPDC’s Directorate for Academic Programs, describes Whitney as an “exceptional performer with loyalty to our Navy core values.”
Brinkmeier added Whitney’s organizational acumen is one of his greatest professional attributes. “In a positive manner, HM3 Whitney manages human, financial and information resources within our organization (U.S. Navy), strategically,” said the senior chief.