Rancho Alamitos High School alumnus earns Senior Sailor of the Quarter

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jonathan Faletoi, from Pago Pago, American Samoa, and 2005 graduate of Rancho Alamitos High School, in California, and Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey, in 2018, was recently selected as NHB’s Senior Sailor of the Quarter.

Jonathan Faletoi
Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

“Congratulations on your selection and thanks for your hard work, dedication and superior performance,” said Capt. Jeffrey Bitterman, NHB commanding officer.

“I’m honored to represent our command as the Senior Sailor of the Quarter. I was shocked and very humbled to be selected. I actually thought it was a joke at first,” said Faletoi, leading petty officer for NHB’s Branch Health Clinic Bangor, who also handles additional duties such as Pacific Northwest Hospital Corpsman Ball Committee president, NHB Petty Officer First Class Association secretary, clinic career counselor, and clinic training petty officer.

Faletoi began his Navy career assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego where he learned – and honed his knowledge – on the basics and fundamentals of nursing services on a medical surgical ward.

That experience was an outgrowth of his initial awareness in pursuing a career in the Navy, and Navy Medicine in particular.

A couple of reasons I was interested. The first was the ability to directly help others in their time of need and sickness. Secondly, as we all know being able to provide health care is a valuable skill that can be applied anywhere and anytime. Navy Medicine provides that aspect of worldwide care at any given time,” explained Faletoi.

Navy Medicine has taken Faletoi from a major military treatment facility to a casualty collection point in the heart of Afghanistan with 1st Marine Division.

He has handled such roles as field medical corpsman on the battlefield(s) of Central Asia, and assistant leading petty officer in Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton’s Family Medicine department before his current duty at NHB.

“Navy Medicine has also taken me to Tri-Service (Army, Navy, and Air Force) school in San Antonio Texas, to the halls of the oldest Naval Hospital in Portsmouth Va., and to Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor in the Pacific Northwest,” Faletoi said.

The Hospital Corps is the Navy’s oldest enlisted corps, and Navy corpsman like Faletoi serve in scores of environments, from state-side training platform hospitals to fields of battle. They use the most advanced technology and science to support Sailors, Marines and their families. It’s no small wonder that Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, has consistently praised their collective efforts in providing care for casualties since Sept. 11, 2001 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Freedom Sentinel, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The heroism and capability of our hospital corpsmen on those battlefields is a main reason why we have had an unprecedented 97 percent survival rate caring for our wounded,” shared Faison at a visit recently to NHB and Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor.

It’s no surprise that Faletoi’s most memorable assignment – so far – was when he was deployed with 1st Marine Division in 2009 to Afghanistan.

“Our platoon was attacked by enemy fighters at dusk. We unfortunately took casualties. However with great Marines coupled with great tactical awareness, I was able to apply what I’ve learned while under fire and successfully saved the lives of all of my injured Marines that evening. No other medicine can you get that type of experience other than Navy Medicine,” related Faletoi.

Navy Medicine has a renewed emphasis on readiness and will continue to rely on Faletoi and other hospital corpsman to support that goal.

“With readiness, I shift focus from getting ready to staying ready. That’s the type of mindset I believe we as leaders should emphasize when we’re talking about readiness. Being proactive with training and exercise what we’ve learned in our routine will contribute to that readiness mentality. I feel I contribute to that by being an example and ensure those who I lead are up to date with information, attend required training, being active and having the motivation to prepare for tasks outside of our normal day to day responsibilities,” Faletoi said.

When asked to sum up his experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Faletoi replied, “Navy Medicine is a great way to give back to those who have served before us and for those who have sacrificed all for the greater good of our country and freedom.”

This article was released by the Navy Office of Community Outreach.