NMETLC SOY selectees visit USS Lexington

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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht

CORPUS CHRISTI (Nov. 14, 2017) The five Sailors in the running for Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC) Sailor of the Year (SOY) took a tour of USS Lexington (CV 16) Nov. 14.
The tour of the museum ship marks the beginning of a week-long meeting where SOYs and their respective command sponsors take time to reflect on Navy heritage, culminating in the announcement of the NMETLC SOY for 2017.
"This is a good opportunity to instill a sense of Navy heritage and to show the SOY candidates the support the citizens of the great state of Texas provide to service members," said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman J.T. Renn, command senior enlisted leader (SEL) of Naval Undersea Medical Institute at Groton, Connecticut, a subordinate command of NMETLC.
The group arrived at the floating museum and were greeted by retired Navy tour guides, who started by leading the Sailors up to the flight deck, explaining various information about the ship's history.
"We're Sailors first, before Navy Corpsmen," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Shante Morris, tour coordinator from NMETLC in San Antonio, Texas. "So I thought what better place to learn about heritage than USS Lexington."
SOY candidates took pictures and asked questions while taking in the history of the decommissioned aircraft carrier.
"There was so much history," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Melvin-Jorge Zabala, SOY candidate from Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) in Bethesda, Maryland, an NMETLC subordinate command. "You could tell from the section of wooden deck that this carrier endured a lot."
As the tour continued, Sailors were led through interior spaces, including the ship's bridge and aircraft hangar, before ending lunch on the fantail.
"I think going to a ship is what the Navy is all about," said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Blake West, SEL for Naval Medical Logistics Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland, an NMETLC subordinate command. "Some corpsmen don't always get that type of exposure, so going to see a ship that's been in so many battles was a great way to see Navy history."

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