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NEWS | April 13, 2015

'Jointness' is the Word at Navy Medicine Officer Commissioning

By Larry Coffey, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

The Navy's newest officer serving in a joint enlisted medical training program passed through Army and Navy sideboys to be commissioned by an Air Force brigadier general at a ceremony presided over by a Navy captain April 10 on board Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH).

Ensign Brian J. Melin, the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Navy Phase 2 clinical coordinator at the tri-service Medical Education and Training Campus at JBSA-FSH, was commissioned by Brig. Gen. Robert I. Miller, Defense Health Agency education and training director and METC commandant. Capt. Denise Smith, Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) commanding officer, was the presiding officer.

"The commissioning ceremony encompassed all three services," Melin said. "This was fitting because I received mentoring from Navy, Army and Air Force leadership along my journey to a commission."

Melin is married with two daughters. As the MLT Navy Phase 2 clinical coordinator, he plays a key role in helping Navy hospital corpsmen lab technicians obtain hands-on experience before reporting to their duty station.

"I work with civilian clinical sites to secure medical laboratory technician students 'seats' for training in the community," the Coon Rapids, Minnesota, native said. "I also served as the Navy MLT program Leading Petty Officer for 15 staff members and 150-plus Navy students."

Melin's successes at the tri-service METC, together with continued superior performance as a Navy Medicine lab technician, carried him to this career milestone.

"He mastered his specialty area, made the most of his assignments both in CONUS (continental U.S) and deployed, and seized leadership opportunities when called upon," Miller said. "Knowing how competitive these programs are, it speaks volumes of what he has done for Navy Medicine in his career. I have no doubt the same will continue in his new role as a naval officer."

Melin said he wanted a larger, joint ceremony so he could recognize his family's contributions to his career and allow the students to see an enlisted member become commissioned. Approximately 20 students attended the lunch-time ceremony.

"Many students mention this as one of their career goals," he said. "I wanted to afford them opportunity to see that goal happen for someone they know."

Melin will soon leave to attend Officer Development School in Newport, Rhode Island, in May. From there, he will report to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, as a lab officer.

Until then, he will continue to work hand in hand with the Army MLT program, where the classroom and clinical training for Army and Navy students has integrated and will soon integrate with the Air Force. Melin said this allows students to become accustomed to working with other services.

"There is no reason that we shouldn't train in a joint environment," Melin said. "All of the services have the same goal - to provide the best medical care to active duty members and their families. There will always be variations in the services, but our goal will remain the same. As long as we keep that in mind, joint training will continue to thrive."

NMTSC is an echelon four command and reports directly to the Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, which manages Navy Medicine's formal education and training programs. Both are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/.