Editor’s note: The following article was written by Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kameron Jacobs, a native of Enumclaw, is playing a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s efforts to maintain a healthy and ready fighting force in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a hospital corpsman working at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Jacobs’ skills are vital to maintaining the health of the sailors in the Jacksonville area, and by extension, the readiness of the Navy’s officer training commands of which they serve.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought an invisible enemy to our shores and changed the way we operate as a Navy,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations. “The fight against this virus is a tough one, but our sailors are tougher. We must harden our Navy by continuing to focus on the health and safety of our forces and our families. The health and safety of our sailors and their families is, and must continue to be, our number one priority.”
Jacobs graduated in 2010 from Enumclaw High School and in 2014 from Pacific Lutheran University. According to Jacobs, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Enumclaw.
“I’ve learned that perseverance and pursuit of one’s dreams are not limited by a ZIP code,” Jacobs said. “I draw strength from the challenges faced in my past to better the future for myself, my Navy and my community.”
The U.S. Navy Hospital Corps is the most decorated career field in the Navy. Corpsmen have earned 22 Medals of Honor, 179 Navy Crosses, 959 Silver Stars and more than 1,600 Bronze Stars. 20 ships have been named in honor of corpsmen.
In its century of service, the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps has supported millions of sailors and Marines in wartime and peace around the world. As the years have progressed, technological innovations are transforming medical training for the next generation of hospital corpsmen, according to Navy officials.
“To be a corpsman means to stand on the shoulders of giants; to persist with honor, confidence, and compassion for others, despite challenges or obstacles,” Jacobs said.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Jacobs, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition that dates back centuries. Their efforts, especially during this time of challenge brought on by the coronavirus, will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who provide the Navy the nation needs.
“In this time, being a corpsman means strengthening our core values to face unprecedented challenges,” Jacobs added. “I am humbled to be part of the historic effort in serving my community, and will continue to put forth my best effort for the sake of others.”