Captain Hooton takes rudder at Field Medical Service School

11 Nov 2000 | GySgt. Arturo Prioletta

An enlisted Sailor who first served at Camp Lejeune's Naval Hospital in the mid-sixties returns to the area this time to take command of Field Medical Service School at Camp Johnson Nov. 17.

Medical Service Corps Navy Capt. Carl J. Hooton, who left active duty in 1966 to pursue a bachelor degree from Quincy College in Illinois, will take command of the school from Navy Capt. William L. Roach Jr., MSC.

Roach, from Victoria, Va., who received a bachelor's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in June 1970 and a master's degree in Hospital Administration from the Medical College of Virginia, will retire after four years at the school and nearly three decades of service with the Navy.

"I plan on taking some time to reflect before pursuing a second career," he said.

For Roach, the best feeling he received from commanding the school was seeing students mature during the seven weeks of instruction.  "You may not always accomplish everything that you want to do, but you do a lot of good things for the students," he said.  "Myself and my staff get a lot of gratification from seeing students grow mature.  Some of them don't think they've learned anything at the school, but when they go to their next duty stations with Marines, they'll know the basics."

No stranger to the Marine Corps himself, Roach attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College in June 1980.  After graduating, he served as executive officer of 2d Medical Battalion.  He assumed command of the battalion in May 1981 and served in that position until July 1984.  He then transferred to Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, where he was the executive assistant to the medical officer of the Marine Corps.

Roach began a four-year assignment in August 1987 as the medical administrative officer and Navy personnel officer on the staff of Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii.

He served as the executive officer, Naval Hospital, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C., from August 1991 until May 1994 when he assumed command of the Naval Medical Clinic, Quantico, Va.  After leaving Quantico, he assumed command of Field Medical Service School Nov 15, 1996.

Roach is a Diplomate in the American College of Healthcare Executives.  His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.

Hooton, whose last assignment was as commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Keflavik, Iceland, was commissioned as an ensign while in graduate school. He received his master's degree in Health Care Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo, in 1976.  He was appointed a lieutenant junior grade in the Medical Service Corps upon graduation. 

Hooton will bring his extensive knowledge of working with Marines to the school.  His career path has crossed that of Marines many times including duty assignments at the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Va.; as executive officer, and later, commanding officer, 2d Medical Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Va.; Marine Corps Research, Development, and Acquisition Command, Washington; and executive assistant to the medical officer of the Marine Corps, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

As for his assignment with the school, Hooton said, "I'll be back with my Marines again.  I spent more than 15 out of the last 20 years with Marines and I enjoy it a lot.

"I plan to try to carry on the plan of instruction as it is, and turn out some of the best corpsmen the Marine Corps has ever seen," he said.  "There's not too much more to do to improve that plan."