Chief Hospital Corpsman Ezra L. Johnson salutes as he is whistled through the buoys signifying that he has assumed the rank of chief petty officer. Manning the rails are Chief Hospital Corpsman John A. McGilvery, Chief Logistics Specialist Ronald E. McCampbell, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Michael J. Holmes and Hospital Corpsman Amanda C. Doolittle.
By Julius L. Evans, Naval Medical Logistics Command Public Affairs
Naval Medical Logistics Command, Navy medicine’s Center of Logistics Expertise, promoted four individuals in September at its headquarters located at Fort Detrick, Md.
Promoted to their current rank were Chief Hospital Corpsman Ezra L. Johnson, Lt. Cmdr. Gina L. Morosky, Cmdr. Shikina M. Tellis and Capt. Mary S. Seymour.
Capt. James. B. Poindexter III, NMLC’s commanding officer, said at one of the ceremonies, “We have promoted three of our officers in the last two weeks. This is a testament to the quality of professional representation we have in our command. Next week, we promote one of our shipmates to Chief Petty Officer.”
In the first ceremony held Sept. 1, Cmdr. Mary S. Seymour was promoted to captain in front of more than 100 family members, friends and co-workers. Immediately after her shoulder boards were in place, she presided over Lt. Morosky’s promotion ceremony.
Morosky, NMLC’s Director for Administration, expressed sincere gratitude and thanked those in attendance as well as her family, friends and Sailors for their support. "Each one of you has made this a very special day. I would like to especially thank Capt. Seymour for sharing her day and her friends with me,” she said. Turning to a Petty Officer 1st Class from her previous command, she said, “HM1 Kestner, you are an example to all Sailors. I could say so much about you but I will just say that the Navy needs you. To my Best friends Jennifer and Rudy who drove from Pennsylvania to be here today, I love you guys. To my sidekick and best friend Senior Chief Indira Kozak, thank you for being with me throughout my career. I would not be here today without your support. Thanks to my Goddaughter Evelin -- I love you. Stay as beautiful as you are,” she said.
The following Friday, Sept. 7, Lt. Cmdr. Tellis was promoted to commander in a ceremony presided over by Capt. Keith L. Sykes, Naval Supply Systems Command, Assistant Commander for Acquisition Logistics. In his comments, Sykes quipped, “If you think you know Shikina, I’m here to tell you that you probably do not. For her, it’s all about the hair.”
After gaining a hearty laugh from the crowd, Sykes explained how Tellis left in her wake a trail of success that featured standing processes and procedures, mentoring relationships that have nurtured numerous budding careers, and an attention to detail separated her from her peers.
“It is because of your tenacity that the Navy Supply Corps is confiding in you the trust to wear the uniform and to assume the duties of a commander in the United States Navy,” Sykes said.
Once at the podium, Tellis thanked Sykes for his comments and she also thanked everyone who brought her ‘informal yet memorable day to life.’ As Operational Forces Support deputy director, Tellis oversees the day-to-day operations required to provide medical equipment and consumable lifecycle logistics services to the Naval Operating Forces. Within her directorate, she also coordinates strategic plans and policies to better support fleet customers.
The following Friday, Sept. 14, Petty Officer 1st Class Ezra L. Johnson ‘shifted colors’ as he donned the khaki uniform in a pinning ceremony where he was the lone person at NMLC promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
The chief's pinning ceremony is a special Navy tradition, which dates back to 1893, when the chief petty officer pay grade was created. The ceremony signifies a new position of leadership and responsibilities for the Navy personnel who are promoted to that rank.
Command Master Chief David Hall, said during the ceremony, “The rank of E-7 carries with it unique responsibilities and privileges you are now bound to observe and expected to fulfill. Your entire way of life is now changed. More will be expected of you; more will be demanded of you. Not because you are an E-7, but because you are now a Chief Petty Officer. You have not merely been promoted one pay grade, you have joined an exclusive fellowship and, as in all fellowships, you have a special responsibility to your comrades, even as they have a special responsibility to you,” he said.
Reflecting on everything that took place leading to the ceremony, Johnson said, “It’s been a long six weeks. The chiefs who initiated me put a lot into preparing me to wear the uniform and I am so thankful and honored for this chief’s mess,” he said. “I have only been here four months but I took the test before I came here. I did not know whether I would make it or not, but everyone at Naval Medical Logistics Command has welcomed me with open arms.”
The pinning ceremony, much like the other promotion ceremonies at Naval Medical Logistics Command, highlights a year of success and accomplishments. “These promotions also signify how the quality of recruitment and retention can have a lasting impact on personnel,” Capt. Poindexter said.
As the personnel who were promoted now standby for more responsibilities, so too will the command as it prepares to close out a highly successful 2012.
Naval Medical Logistics Command designs, executes and administers individualized state-of-the-art solutions to meet customer’s medical materiel and healthcare needs. For more information about NMLC, visit http://www.nmlc.med.navy.mil.