Remembering History: George Washington Corpsmen Celebrates 115 Years of Service

Story Number: NNS130617-25Release Date: 6/17/2013 11:15:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paolo Bayas

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Hospital corpsmen aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) held a remembrance ceremony to celebrate their 115-year heritage, June 17.

"Corpsmen represent the only group of people who have helped our soldiers, Sailors and Marines during significant conflicts that laid the foundation for our country," said Capt. Russell Hays, George Washington's senior medical officer. "Corpsmen are very proud of what they do because of the impact they've had in history over the last 115 years."

Hospital corpsmen are assigned duty to a wide variety of assignments and locations worldwide, including ships, hospitals and forward-deployed alongside Marines and special operations forces.

"It's important to remember that we have to do our job, and our heritage requires that we ensure everyone is taken care of on a daily basis," says Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Floreen Johnson, George Washington's medical department leading chief petty officer.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class David Cano, from San Antonio, Texas, read a memorial poem and Hospitalman Elizabeth Pena, from Roscoe, Texas, recited the Corpsman's Oath to honor of the corpsmen's rich history.

"I have always wanted to become a health care provider," said Pena. "I feel like I'm helping people. I love my job even if sometimes it can get stressful, but being a corpsman teaches me discipline and prepares me for real-world scenarios that I can face."

Ten officers and 30 enlisted corpsmen work diligently year round to ensure the more than 3,300 George Washington and 1,200 air wing personnel are mission ready.

"Motivation, enthusiasm and sacrifice," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alexis Price, from New Orleans. "These are three things every good corpsman believes in. With the Marines or on the ship, corpsmen have to be disciplined and be ready to do the job every day."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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