BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) — The Navy surgeon general and chief, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery visited with Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Sailors at an all hands call at the hospital’s Ross Auditorium Aug. 7.
Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, along with Force Master Chief Sherman Boss, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), provided a vast amount of knowledge and information to Sailors and civilian workers in attendance at the in-depth discussion.
Nathan began with commenting on the superior attributes of all the individuals who work at NHB and how everyone has helped make the command one of the more successful and most sought after medical facilities in the Navy. “The quality of the Sailors and civilian staff here at this hospital has never been higher. You represent the top tier of the best of what America’s Navy has to offer,” said Nathan.
Nathan added that the command’s deployable ability puts them in a category that stands alone. “If any situation suddenly arose, a tragic natural event or an immediate war crisis of any kind came down, if everyone in this room was given the word they had 24 hours to get their gear together and ship out to anywhere in the world because the need was there, you would all be ready an answer the call. That’s why you’re special, better than the best, and certainly a higher type of medical staff than any civilian-only medical facility. It’s the fact you have the agility you possess that has put us all on the map of the elite status we maintain,” said Nathan.
Both Nathan and Boss gave specifics about two continuously popular topics for Sailors and discussed the potential of increased Selected Re-enlistment Bonuses (SRBs) for certain Navy Enlisted Classification Codes (NECs) and the ability to pick certain areas for continued naval service.
“If you go out in the civilian world with a specialized NEC you’ve obtained from the Navy, it’s possible I can’t pay you what that company or medical organization is going to give you. It’s all about if the money that is available in the military budget. If there’s a need to retain more individuals who have the high demand NECs you’ll definitely see those SRB numbers rise,” said Nathan.
“The capability to choose any area in the world you desire for your next duty station can be achieved but because money is obviously tighter in certain regions it can be tricky to get where you want to go. For example, if you want to go to Bahrain and you’re stationed here at NHB the person who is working at Naval Hospital Pensacola who wants the same billet will possibly have a better shot at getting there. Just like someone on the West Coast would have an edge going to Hawaii or Japan. But always keep focused and you’ll be able to achieve what you want and where to want to go,” said Boss.
Another portion of the all hands call featured information about how future evolutions will go more and more towards a multi-service responsibility.
“It’s very much the wave of the future with more joint-service evolutions. There will be more of what’s already happening with Army and Air Force joining along Navy and Marine Corps medical teams either working side-by-side or training together while deployed. And I know that many of you here today have received your specialized training inside multi-service classrooms. It’s just a more efficient way of doing things and there’s a crucial cohesion building up between our military forces,” said Nathan.
Nathan wrapped up his talk by reflecting over his career and on how many service members at one time have expressed a desire to leave the Navy only to later request another chance to stay in and continue on.
“People sometimes tend to think they can do better than what the Navy offers them and realize that they were on the right path all along. I can truly say and I honestly believe that when you’re an old man or woman and you’re sitting in your rocking chair, you’ll have a lot more interesting stories to tell about the Navy if you stay around for awhile and don’t just rush to get out. See yourselves in the upper echelon group because that where you are right now in your lives. I’m very excited and encouraged by everyone’s attitude. Take care of the mission, take care of your shipmates and please take care of yourselves,” said Nathan.
Navy Medicine is a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.