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Face of Defense: Navy Radiology Technician Wears Many Hats

By Joycelyn Biggs
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga., Feb. 25, 2014 – Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emmanuel Melendez, a radiology technician assigned Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany here, has found that versatility pays off.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emmanuel Melendez, a radiology technician, also helps with supply and audiology at the Naval Branch Health Clinic, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Joycelyn Biggs

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

His willingness to pitch in on other duties contributed to his selection as Junior Sailor of the Quarter.

“I feel great about being selected,” Melendez said. “I always try to work hard and do my best. In addition to working in radiology, I also work in supply, as well as [in] audiology. There was a need in those areas, so I just jumped in to help where I could.”

Melendez said he believes the many hats he wears in the clinic played a role in his selection. But although he was grateful to be selected to compete, he added, the process was intense.

“They inspect your uniform and make sure everything is correct,” he said. “They also ask questions. The questions can be about anything from our history to traditions -- anything at all related to the Navy.

“Military bearing is a key element in being successful before the board,” Melendez continued. “I didn’t know the answer to every question they asked, but when I didn’t know, I maintained my military bearing and didn’t lose my confidence. Knowing the answer will only get you so far. How you handle not knowing an answer is just as important as getting an answer correct.”

While many would be satisfied with the quarterly honor, Melendez said, he has his sights on competing for Junior Sailor of the Year.

“Anyone selected as Sailor of the Quarter twice within a year is automatically qualified to compete for Sailor of the Year,” he said. “I don’t know if that will happen, but I plan to keep doing my very best.”

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Nguyen, lead radiology technician at the clinic here, attested to Melendez’s work ethic.

“He is a great sailor with a lot of initiative,” Nguyen said. “Melendez puts 100 percent effort in everything he does. He is just a really well-rounded person. He is not just a great sailor, but he is a great role model in the community.”

Noting that Melendez also coaches a youth soccer team, Nguyen said it hasn’t been difficult to see him as a sailor who wants to make a real contribution both on and off duty. “When he got here, he hit the ground running and has never stopped,” he said.


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