PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) recognized the 2018 Officers of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 8 in which nine officers were recognized for their contributions to the command. Junior and senior officers were each selected from the Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Dental Corps and Medical Service Corps, as well as a staff corps junior officer of the year.
During the ceremony, Capt. Christopher Culp, NMCP commanding officer, presented them with plaques and command coins, and then remarked on the reason for this unique recognition program to exist.
“We expect leadership and officership from the officers, so there is no formal Navywide Officer of the Quarter and Officer of the Year program,” Culp said. “We do this here because even though we expect leadership and officership and success, we want to celebrate the best of what you have done. But all of you are here not just because of the accomplishments that are on the certificate, although they are real and meaningful.”
Culp said that if he were to ask the person who nominated each officer why they were nominated, he believed that it would be because of the intangibles that each of them brings.
“There is something more to it than just job accomplishment – the can-do officership, the can-do attitude, the infectious leadership, the persistent optimism,” Culp said. “We are here to celebrate the intangibles that make leaders leaders, and the best of our officers the best of our officers. We may not always define it, but we know it when we see it. I say congratulations to you, but more so, thank you. Thank you for what you have done to merit this recognition. Thanks for making us the ‘Finest’ – you are the reason we are “First and Finest.’”
During the ceremony, each officer gave short remarks after receiving their award, most of them attributing their success to their family and co-workers while expressing that they were honored to represent their Corps.
“Thanks to my family, my leadership and all of my co-workers and my staff at Branch Health Clinic Northwest,” said Lt. Haley Huneycutt, Nurse Corps Junior Officer of the Year, who is a department head and clinic manager at BHC Northwest. “Thank you for your support and the love that you have shown throughout the year that has made this possible. I am honored to represent the Nurse Corps and all of the Nurse Corps officers. Thank you.”
“It’s pretty easy to do great things when you are surrounded by talented officers and staff,” said Cmdr. Michael Gentile, Dental Corps Senior Officer of the Year. “In my department, with surgeons and dentists, that is certainly the case and I appreciate their support.”
NMCP’s 2018 Officers of the Year were Cmdr. Kerri Browne, Medical Service Corps Senior Officer of the Year; Lt. Cmdr. Bridget Cunningham, Medical Corps Junior Officer of the Year; Cmdr. Michael Gentile, Dental Corps Senior Officer of the Year; Lt. Deshawnda Gilliam, Medical Service Corps Junior Officer of the Year; Cmdr. Kerry Hudson, Medical Corps Senior Officer of the Year; Lt. Haley Huneycutt, Nurse Corps Junior Officer of the Year; Lt. Natalie King, Staff Corps Junior Officer of the Year; Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Levenson, Nurse Corps Senior Officer of the Year; and Lt. Cmdr. Gustavo Lores, Dental Corps Junior Officer of the Year.
As the U.S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The national acclaimed, state of the art medical center, along with the area's ten branch and TRICARE Prime Clinics in the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.
For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit www.navy.mil/local/NMCP/.