Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Patuxent River is proud to recognize its Sailors of the Year: Hospital Corpsman Brianna Velarde, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Raven Williams, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sean McClain and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan King. They are the Bluejacket, Junior Sailor, Sailor and Senior Sailor of the Year, respectively.
Competition was tight, with 23 nominees vying for the command’s top honors. Leadership selected them for their accomplishments throughout the 2021 fiscal year, which spanned Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021. All four are assigned to Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River.
These corpsmen excelled through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, staff shortages and preparing for the triennial Joint Commission reaccreditation survey.
“These men and women represent the very best of NMRTC Patuxent River,” said Capt. David Thomas, their commanding officer. “They have been instrumental to our team’s success this year and they exemplify the Navy’s highest values: honor, courage and commitment to excellence.”
Bluejacket of the Year: Hospital Corpsman Brianna Velarde
HN Velarde reported to NMRTC Patuxent River in March 2019, where she serves as an Aerospace Medicine Technician, Assistant Optometry Corpsman and General Duty Corpsman. In those roles, she supports seven flight surgeons, two General Medical Officers and two nurses in assessing medical conditions and performing minor surgical and non-surgical procedures. She also counsels patients on treatment, collects laboratory samples and conducts flight physicals for critical personnel.
During the 2021 fiscal year, HN Velarde assisted in the completion of 48,057 patient encounters, 2,379 flight physicals and 349 Periodic Health Assessments and maintaining an 87.1% Total Force Medical Readiness for Naval Air Station Patuxent River. While working in optometry, she filled and ordered prescription glasses for 200 active duty service members and dependents.
HN Velarde was instrumental in the clinic’s delivery of 5,110 COVID vaccines and 3,100 flu shots. She identified 37 patients who needed cervical cancer screenings, kept nine patient rooms fully stocked and more.
HN Velarde served as public affairs officer for the command’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee, Assistant Command Volunteer Coordinator, Customer Service Representative, Safety Petty Officer and Assistant Command Fitness Leader. In those roles, she coordinated five volunteer opportunities, resulting in more than 240 volunteer hours, and led her team to run 1,860 miles and win the Command Master Chief’s Fitness Challenge in November 2020. She was secretary of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions and active member of the Second Class Petty Officer Association.
She was NMRTC Pax River’s Bluejacket of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2021 and earned a Flag Letter of Commendation and Armed Forces Services Medal.
“HN Velarde’s performance, both militarily and professionally, is nothing short of extraordinary,” wrote Chief Hospital Corpsman Tiffany Webb. “She is an absolute professional whose personal contributions have been significant elements in the fulfillment of the Command’s mission. Her valued contribution to this command is unmatched, establishing a standard for all to emulate!”
HN Velarde is from Nevada and enlisted in the Navy in May 2018. She is studying to earn her bachelor’s degree in health sciences from National University in San Diego.
Junior Sailor of the Year: Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Raven Williams
HM3 Williams reported to NMRTC Patuxent River in July 2019, where she serves as a Senior Immunizations Technician and Preventive Medicine Representative. In those roles, she was on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting in providing 11,234 COVID vaccinations and conducting 2,442 hours of COVID contact tracing and surveillance for 2,526 patients.
In addition, she helped conduct 11,873 routine vaccinations and trained 33 personnel in flu and COVID vaccine administration. She also completed 96 bacterial water tests and 45 food and sanitation inspections, ensuring the safety and readiness of more than 9,000 active duty service members, beneficiaries and federal employees and resulting in zero food-borne illness outbreaks.
HM3 Williams served on the Command Resiliency Team and is an active member of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, Diversity Committee, and Command Morale and Recognition Council. She also serves as vice president of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee and Training Petty Officer for her directorate. In those roles, she coordinated 24 cultural observances, ensured 100% training compliance for 36 staff members, and helped plan and execute command functions, including a morale breakfast for 246 employees, the command picnic, the 246th Navy birthday ceremony and more.
She was Junior Sailor of the Quarter for NMRTC Pax River for the third quarter of the 2021 fiscal year and Bluejacket of the Quarter in 2018 while stationed at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center. Her awards include the National Defense Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Services Medal and two Flag Letters of Commendation.
“Petty Officer Williams is an exceptional Navy Sailor, Hospital Corpsman and Enlisted leader,” wrote Chief Hospital Corpsman Aaron Smith. “Petty Officer Williams is highly admired by subordinates, peers, and seniors alike for her self-starter attitude that drives her to organize and lead functions that boost the readiness of our staff and those we serve.”
HM3 Williams is from Colorado and enlisted in the Navy in April 2016. She is studying to earn her associate’s degree in health sciences at Purdue University Global and has been selected to attend Preventive Medicine Technician “C” School this spring.
Sailor of the Year: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sean McClain
HM2 McClain reported to NMRTC Patuxent River in January 2019, where he served as Leading Petty Officer for Medical Home Port, Individual Augmentee Coordinator, and Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence (POMI) liaison prior to his departure for Camp Pendleton last month.
During his time in Patuxent River, HM2 McClain led 18 sailors in the care of 6,500 beneficiaries and 52 tenant commands and helped coordinate a base-wide COVID shot clinic that immunized 767 base personnel. As POMI liaison, he coordinated the deployment of 28 personnel to five locations in support of Navy medical operations.
HM2 McClain led efforts to prepare Medical Home Port for the triennial Joint Commission survey, resulting in zero deficiencies, and submitted Armed Forces Service Medal packages for more than 210 active duty personnel across four clinics. He served as the command’s Defense Medical Human Resources System — internet (DMHRSi) manager, processing more than 410 active duty and civilian personnel and facilitating training for 130 people. He served as Executive Assistant to the Commanding Officer, Command Legal Clerk, Assistant Command Fitness Leader and Mail Petty Officer.
He served as treasurer and public affairs officer for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee and vice president of the Second Class Petty Officer Association. He volunteered for events that supported the Special Olympics, Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.
HM2 McClain has earned four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, four Good Conduct Medals and an Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal.
He previously deployed in support of Talisman Saber and Operation Inherent Resolve.
“HM2 McClain is performing at a level that far exceeds the expectations of a Petty Officer Second Class. He is sought out by juniors and his peers for mentorship and is recognized as a subject matter expert not only in his department but in the command,” wrote Chief Hospital Corpsman Tiffany Webb. “Through his actions he has constantly demonstrated the attributes of a servant leader by expertly balancing the needs of the mission with that of his junior Sailors. HM2 Mcclain is a fine example of “Mission first, people always.”.”
HM2 McClain is from California and joined the Navy in 2007. He has completed 250 hours of training toward earning his Medical Secretary certification through the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program.
Senior Sailor of the Year: Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan King
HM1 King reported to NMRTC Patuxent River in 2019, where he serves in Clinical Support Services and Expeditionary Medicine, providing leadership and mentorship for 23 sailors and 11 civilians who provide care for 16,000 beneficiaries.
He serves as the command Watch Bill Coordinator, qualifying 20 sailors to stand specific watch assignments and developing 11 watch bills for 61 sailors, resulting in the successful standing of 29,200 hours of watch. He also served as Team Lead for First Receiver Operations Training (FROT), leading 12 sailors to become FROT qualified, and Basic Life Support training facilitator, teaching 29 classes for 151 personnel with a 100% pass rate.
HM1 King also served as Command Fitness Leader, a Career Development Team member, ShipShape facilitator and representative for the 2021 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive. He also served as secretary of the First Class Petty Officer Association and volunteered 96 hours providing tours and maintenance for the Historic St. Mary’s City museum.
He was Senior Sailor of the Quarter for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year and has earned three Fleet Letters of Commendation, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He is a certified Nurse Assistant and Medical Secretary and has his Lean Sigma Six Green Belt.
He previously deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Unified Assistance.
“He is a versatile leader who is capable of fulfilling different billets and requirements as demonstrated by the Command collateral duties he holds,” according to his nomination. “His motivation and proactive leadership style enabled all personnel assigned to maintain visibility on the mission and vision to ensure that we achieve the highest level of readiness, provide the highest quality of care, and positively affect patient satisfaction. He is highly engaged with process improvements, patient safety, and training for all staff. His leadership style, character traits, and confidence are a testament to his ability to influence his Sailors and execute the mission.”
HM1 King is from Massachusetts and enlisted in the Navy in September 2003. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Thomas Edison State University.