ASAN, Guam (Nov. 27, 2013) — Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Joseph Santos was able to visit his family and friends in Guam while traveling as the aide to U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief (AW/IDWS) Marco Ramirez Nov. 24-27.
Santos, originally from the village of Dededo, was able to return home while he coordinated and participated in a tour of the Navy community and installations here with the fleet master chief.
“I was so excited to see my mom,” Santos said. “It was heartwarming. I spent time with my family, my brothers and sisters and I met a lot of people with the new chief’s mess here.”
Santos graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1999, and enlisted in the Navy 14 years ago. He recently took the position of Ramirez’s aide in July after being meritoriously promoted to the rank of chief. His promotion followed his selection as Pacific Fleet’s 2012 Sea Sailor of the Year in April.
“I was the first Pacific Islander to win it, and I’m from Guam,” he said. “It was totally surprising and humbling.”
The Sailor of the Year award recognizes individual Sailors for their achievements and for best representing their command and the Navy. At the time of his win, Santos served with Marine Aircraft Group 24 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. His other notable achievements include the Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.
Santos’ career has taken him on deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, and now his job at Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) has him visiting different places wherever the fleet master chief is needed. He is responsible for planning tours, updating all information relevant and needed for presentations and meetings, as well as acting as liaison with third parties.
Though the job is demanding, Santos said he was humbled to take on the task as the duty assignment was one he never imagined being a part of.
“It’s been phenomenal,” he said. “The job is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m taking every advantage to learn everything, soaking up the knowledge and wisdom and everything about what the fleet is and how the fleet thinks.”
Santos said he is up to the task of doing everything he can for the Navy and he looks forward to where his career takes him next.
“I love it,” he said. “If they could reset my time in the Navy, I’d still do it all again. I’ve had a really great time.”