GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- An Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) aboard Los Angeles class submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) was recognized as the Submarine Independent Duty Corpsman of the Year for 2011 at a command awards ceremony in Groton, Conn., July 12.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SS) Aaron P. McKnight was the recipient of the award which is presented annually to enlisted medical professionals who have significantly contributed to the combat readiness and overall health of Sailors aboard submarines.
"It's an honor to be chosen because you are essentially selected by your peers," said McKnight, who oversees the medical care and medical records of more than 130 officers and enlisted members stationed aboard the Groton-based submarine.
The IDC of the year award is also presented to a surface and shore IDC annually.
McKnight, who served in Iraq with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Amphibian Assault Battalion from 2004-2005, has been aboard Toledo for the past two years and said he appreciates the opportunity to serve his nation in this capacity.
"Your hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence are a testament to the 53 years of honorable and faithful service to our nation by the independent duty corpsman," said Rear Adm. Karen Flaherty, deputy surgeon general of the Navy, in a citation read during the awards ceremony.
"This award speaks volumes for the submarine community," said Cmdr. Douglas Reckamp, USS Toledo commanding officer. "As our IDC, you have set yourself apart professionally because you not only assumed your medical responsibilities, but also supported the mission as a watchstander. I am proud to have you on board."
In addition to receiving the IDC award, McKnight was recently selected as USS Toledo Senior Sailor of the Year, further emphasizing the important role he performs.
"It's a challenging job, because I'm the only medical person on board. There is no one else performing my job," said McKnight.
In order to qualify as an independent duty corpsman aboard Toledo, McKnight attended 18-months of training at both Naval Undersea Medical Institute and Naval Submarine School. His training at NUMI consisted of clinical patient care, laboratory, pharmacy and general preventative medicine.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.