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Navy Medicine Announces FY23 Sailor of the Year

24 April 2024

From Chief Petty Officer John Grandin

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Peter Munoz from Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Twentynine Palms, California was announced as Navy Medicine's 2023 Sailor of the Year (SOY), on April 24, 2024.

Munoz, originally from El Paso, Texas, received the recognition at a ceremony hosted by U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) leadership at the Defense Health Headquarters.

Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, Surgeon General of the Navy and Force Master Chief PatrickPaul Mangaran, Navy Medicine Force Master Chief and Director of the Hospital Corps, kicked off the ceremony as the nominees awaited the announcement of this year's selectee.

“Standing among the top 4 First Class Petty Officers out of 1,531 across BUMED, your achievements are truly remarkable,” said Mangaran. “This program is a fantastic opportunity to share your inspiring stories and ignite the passion for excellence in those you've guided throughout your careers.”

Mangaran closed by urging the group to stay motivated, stay hydrated, and to change their socks.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve alongside you,” said Via. “You four truly are the finest across the entire organization, you are the true brand ambassadors for who and what we do. Corpsman Up!”

As part of the SOY program, Munoz will be meritoriously promoted to the rank of chief petty officer later this year.

"This is an unbelievable feeling! It's a real team effort. First and foremost, I have to thank my incredible leadership who have supported and guided me every step of the way," said Munoz. Hunter also recognized his peers and junior Sailors for their contributions. "We all worked together to achieve this," he said. Hunter concluded by mentioning his strong support network. "The Navy's been a great family, and my wife is just amazing. She's my biggest cheerleader, always there for me."

“This whole experience has been incredibly humbling. Being named BUMED Sailor of the Year for 2023 is truly an honor, and I couldn't have done it without the incredible team around me.” Said Munoz. “My leadership has been a constant source of support and guidance, and the Sailors I work with every day inspire me to be better. I also want to thank my husband, who is my unwavering support system.”

The remaining active-duty nominees were Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Blaine Jackson assigned to Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 5 in San Diego, California; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bruce Binns assigned to the Naval Survival Training Institute in Pensacola, Florida and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Matthew Potaracke assigned to Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Falls Church, Virginia. Each of the nominees received a Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal signed by Rear Admiral Via.

The “Sailor of the Year” is a time-honored tradition introduced by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet in 1972. This annual competition is held to recognize the superior performance of individual Sailors, who exceed in personifying the ideals of the Navy Core Values.

The Navy's Hospital Corps is comprised of over 30,000 active duty and reserve Navy personnel. Hospital corpsmen deploy alongside their fellow Sailors and Marines worldwide, in both wartime and peacetime. The rating is the largest, most professionally diverse and highly decorated enlisted corps in the Navy.

Navy Medicine — represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals — develops and delivers manned, trained, equipped, maintained, and certified medical forces that develop, generate, and preserve the Naval human weapon system on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.


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