Beaufort Corpsman receives Navy-wide award

25 May 2007 | Lance Cpl. Ryan L. Young

Every year across the Navy, one of the nearly 700 preventive medicine technicians is recognized for the quality and leadership they employ while working in the medical field.

On Monday, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Mann here received the Master Chief Stephen W. Brown Award for Preventive Medicine Technician of the Year for his work while serving with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 during 2006.

The award was established in memory of Brown who served as a preventive medicine technician from 1952 until 1986.

“We look for those who make a difference in a way that is noticeable by that person’s command,” said Navy Capt. William Stover, the commanding officer of the Navy Environmental Health Center in Portsmouth, Va.

Mann was selected out of thirteen nominees for the award. Strong leadership and the drive to keep service members healthy are just two of the many qualities it takes to be selected for the award according to Stover.

“If I give him a mission, it’s going to get accomplished,” said Chief Petty Officer Chris Campbell, the leading chief of preventive medicine.

While assigned to the Sweathogs, Mann served as the leading petty officer for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Preventive Medicine, Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. While deployed, Mann led his team in an effort to provide efficient public health services to all units stationed within Denver, a 52,000-square-mile area of operation in the Al Anbar Province.

“My job is to prevent disease non-battle injuries” such as food or water contamination as well as preventable injuries that take service members away from the fight, according to Mann.

Mann also conducted 3,500 inspections in a combat environment to keep an overall 90 percent sanitation compliance at all facilities with no food-borne illness outbreaks.

“He’s one of the people that makes things happen,” said Gunnery Sgt. Willie Peterson, the Headquarters and Support Company first sergeant for MWSS-273.

Working closely in joint service operations, Mann took charge of training and educating preventive medicine specialists from different services in standards for each branch’s instructions as well as inspection and report procedures, according to Mann.

“In my twelve years in the Preventive Medicine world, I’ve never had such a motivated, knowledgeable and well-rounded PMT and Hospital Corpsman. He’s very aggressive at ensuring that the job is done right the first time,” said Campbell.

Whether or not he had been recognized, Mann said that being able to pass on to young service members the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years has been the greatest aspect of his work.