MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC --
When a Marine or sailor does their job to the best of their ability and goes beyond the call of duty, he deserves to be acknowledged for his accomplishments. One sailor stood out to his peers and superiors and was recognized. The sailor is with the only Marine squadron attached to a Naval carrier during a deployment.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Walters, a hospital corpsman attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312, was recognized as the Sailor of the Month for August in the Medical division onboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
The Checkerboards left the Air Station May 20 for a seven-month deployment aboard Truman, and Walters is one of three sailors who went with the squadron.
“Walters was selected for Sailor of the Month because of his hard work and dedication to his duties both during working hours and in his off-time,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Rodney Lindsay, a hospital corpsman and the leading petty officer for Truman’s Medical department. “He works 12 hours a day and takes two night classes. He is so diligent and consistent with his work, we have to ask him to leave from work quite often.”
Walters has taken Marine Corps Martial Arts Program tan and gray belt classes and recently finished a green belt class while onboard Truman.
“Ever since he has been a part of the squadron, he has made sure not to be just another sailor in the squadron,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Legare, a hospital corpsman attached to VMFA-312 and the assistant LPO for Truman’s Medical department. “He does everything the Marines have done. The only difference between him and the Marines is the rank and service. He loves being with them and they really appreciate him.”
According to Lindsay, Walters has been nothing short of helpful and skillful since the start of the deployment. “One thing we all notice about Walters is he is very compassionate and personal with the patients,” Legare said. “Marines and sailors [comment] about him every day. It has even gotten to the point where patients would come to Medical and ask for him before other doctors. He definitely stands out at Medical.”
According to Navy Lt. Kevin Keith, the flight surgeon with VMFA-312, he has seen Walters progress since he came to the squadron.
“Over the past year he has been with the Checkerboards, he has grown professionally and functions more like the second class I knew he could be,” Keith said.
For becoming the Sailor of the Month Walters received a phone card that gave him extra time to call his family and friends. But Walters’ biggest award was recognition from his peers.
“Not only was he recognized by Medical, but Walters gains recognition within the Checkerboards, the rest of the ship and Marine Aircraft Group 31 back on the Air Station,” Legare said. “He doesn’t deny any patient. If 100 patients came in right now, he wouldn’t leave until the last one left.”
The month of August is over, but according to Lindsay, Walters definitely sets the bar for his peers to emulate.