As the 19th chief of naval operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt created the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding sailors at sea. The following year, the Shore Sailor of the Year program was introduced with Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) honoring the tradition by recognizing sailors of multiple paygrades as the military treatment facility’s top performers. After the hospital’s leadership interviewed many nominees for Senior Sailor of the Year (SSOY), Sailor of the Year (SOY), Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) and Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY), Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony Martinez came out on top this year as the SOY. Martinez, a Brentwood native, enlisted in the Navy in February 2015, shortly after graduating from Liberty High School in Brentwood. “I love medicine and the fact that there is always something to learn,” said Martinez.
Since joining, Martinez has had the opportunity to develop his skills in multiple roles at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, and NHB. He has held the positions of general duty corpsman working with the specialty care dermatology clinic, and floor corpsman, before becoming leading petty officer for NHB’s Multi-Service Unit (MSU). Martinez said his role as the leading petty officer for the MSU tested and developed his skills as a leader. “The leading petty officer for MSU challenges my leadership skills,” said Martinez. “It allows for having an effect on new sailors coming in, and provides the opportunity to set them up for success from the start and improve their lives in as many ways as possible.” Proud and grateful for being selected as the SOY, Martinez said he didn’t make it there on his own.
When asked what has been the best part of his career in Navy Medicine, Martinez explained that it is treating past and present military members and watching them regain their health. His position contributes to the Navy surgeon general’s priority on operational readiness. “We have a huge impact here at MSU,” said Martinez. “We assist with surgeries and getting our military members and families back to full health and operation ready.”
— Courtesy of Seaman Meagan Christoph, Naval Hospital Bremerton