MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For outstanding practices and exemplary conduct with the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Marquis received the Navy Medicine East Sailor of the Year award in Millington, Tenn., Dec. 16, 2009.
Out of a selection of 15 contestants, judges from the Navy Medicine East command, which includes facilities along the East Coast, Guantanamo Bay and Cuba, decided on the winner after each had completed a 15 to 30 minute board session.
“I was selected for the Sailor of the Quarter award and then the Sailor of the Year,” said Marquis, medical repair technician with NHCL. “After that, it was a few weeks worth of mock boards and then the real thing.”
Before winning the Sailor of the Year award, Marquis was well known in the hospital for not only being an excellent worker, but also a strong figurehead.
“Marquis is the type of sailor who leads others not by yelling at them, but by his outstanding examples,” said retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Dale Johnson, supervisor of Biological Medical Engineering. “He’s a good sailor, a good family man and just an all-around good person.”
The Sailor of the Year board judges nominees by their uniform presentation as well as by asking questions ranging from current events to naval history.
“Winning was kind of a shock,” said Marquis. “I knew I had a chance but so did the 14 others. No one was better than any of the others. The judging panel just saw something in me that stood out.”
After the Sailor of the Year competition, the next step is the United States Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Board, which spans the entire Navy.
Marquis holds the same attitude for this board as he did during the previous board; nervous, but knowing he has a fair chance; his confidence high as long as he has the ones he loves behind him.
“Starting out in my career I never saw myself taking this path,” he said. “It’s been an amazing ride so far and none of it would have been possible if not for my family and friends.”
Outstanding leadership qualities and ideal work ethos have put Marquis at the top of his class, yet he never forgets the people who have helped him to that level.
“He’s the best chief in the Navy, he just doesn’t wear the uniform yet,” said Johnson laughing.