//Valdosta native training for Navy’s fight against COVID-19

Valdosta native training for Navy’s fight against COVID-19

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Valdosta Native training for the front lines of Navy’s fight against Coronavirus

By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Hospitalman Recruit Daniella Monstoque, a native of Valdosta, Georgia, is learning skills that will be vital in the ongoing fight against a worldwide pandemic.

“The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (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.”

Monstoque is preparing to protect sailors and their families by learning the latest in health care and training at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), a state-of-the-art DoD healthcare education campus that trains military medics, corpsmen and technicians.

“The training that I receive here, along with the mental and physical training, will help me in treating our fellow shipmates and their families to the best of my abilities,” Monstoque said.

Monstoque is a 2019 Valdosta High School graduate. According to Monstoque, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Valdosta.

“I’m proud of my hometown and the lessons that it gave me,” Monstoque said. “I’ve learned that it takes hard work and sheer determination to get where you want to go. I’ve learned to be humble, to ask for help when I need it and to be proud of where I come from and my roots.”

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.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be in the most decorated rate in the Navy and it’s humbled me to learn and respect naval tradition,” Monstoque said.

METC, located on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the largest enlisted healthcare education campus in the world. It employs the latest in medical training technology and evidenced-based strategies that enhance learning and advance educational practices across the globe.

According to Navy officials, METC is recognized as a global leader in allied-health education and training and is an adaptable learning organization that allows for future expansions and rapid responses to the developing landscape of military medicine and evolving civilian medical practices.

“METC’s mission is vital to force readiness and the nation, as we produce the finest medics, corpsmen, and technicians,” said Capt. Thomas Herzig, METC commandant. “When students graduate, they augment active duty, guard and reserve component military medical teams. Whether heading to new assignments around the world or returning home to support their local communities, these new graduates will be ready.”

METC is a schoolhouse for Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard medical trainees with 49 academic programs in various medical specialties. These programs include: Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice; Combat Medic; Ancillary, Dental, Diagnostic and Healthcare Services; Hospital Corpsman Basic; Nursing and Specialty Medical and Public Health Training.

While attending school at METC, Monstoque is enrolled in the Dental Assistant Program, specializing as a dental assistant.

“I’m learning to assist dentists in the preparation of dental procedures and treat patients with oral ailments,” Monstoque said.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Monstoque, 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.

“I’m humbled by the challenge, and I know that I will do my best with all of the training that I’ve been given to serve my fellow Americans,” Monstoque said.