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NEWS | Feb. 12, 2019

Naval Health Clinic Charleston names Junior Officer of the Year

Naval Health Clinic Charleston Public Affairs

Navy Lt. Anthony Waite, Jr., a conscious sedation nurse and division officer for Naval Health Clinic Charleston’s Staff Education and Training, was recently named NHCC’s Junior Officer of the Year.

Waite said he was surprised and honored when he learned he had earned the award.

“We have a very competitive ward room and some exceptional officers, so it was an honor to be selected among this group,” said Waite, who has been serving at NHCC since November 2017. “It solidifies my belief that all of the work I am doing both personally and professionally is paying off.”

Waite is responsible for the implementation and sustainment of Navy hospital corpsman competencies to ensure operational readiness at all times. He is also one of two Tactical Combat Casualty Care instructors for the command and is responsible for training doctors, nurses and corpsmen on how to provide effective and efficient medical care in combat environments.

"Lieutenant Waite is well known throughout the hospital as an expert in his field and a great source of information, always going out of his way to be a helpful resource for our staff, answering dozens of questions each day with patience, accuracy and good humor,” said NHCC Commanding Officer Capt. Dale Barrette. “He represents the finest qualities of a Navy officer—determination, compassion, concern for others and a commitment to excellence in everything he does.”

Waite said he couldn’t have earned this achievement without the support and guidance of great mentors.

“They noticed my potential even when I didn’t see it in myself,” said Waite.

He especially thanked his mentor, Senior Chief Indira Kozac, who has since retired, but was his Senior Enlisted Leader at Navy Manpower Personnel Training and Education Command Bethesda, Maryland.

“She was the epitome of selfless leadership,” Waite said. “No matter how busy she was, she kept a pulse on all of her Sailors and made sure they were setting the example for others. She fostered a culture of competition that was healthy, and as a result, many of my peers went on to achieve success in their careers as well.”

A 2003 graduate of Dickinson High School in Dickinson, Texas, Waite also credited his DHS football coach, Tony Edmonds, for teaching him the discipline he needed to excel in life and in the military. 

“Coach Edmonds pushed us beyond our physical limitations and showed us that the mind is a powerful tool, when used correctly, and that it is there to serve us,” said Waite. “His influence on my life during those formidable years carved the path of possibility for me. Still to this day, I think about the talks he had with us during halftime as we dominated every opponent that we faced, including ourselves. Its leaders like him who allow men like me to rewrite our legacy.”

The son of Dorothy Garcia of Dickinson and Anthony Waite, Sr. of Seabrook, Texas, Waite enlisted in the Navy in 2004, following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Emery Waite of Seabrook. He became a hospital corpsman and during his first duty assignment at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, he served as an Oral and Maxillofacial Prosthetic Technician, caring for wounded warriors from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Waite’s next duty assignment took him to Japan, where he served with the 3rd Marine Logistic Group in Okinawa as the leading petty officer of the prosthetic laboratory.

In 2010, Waite was hand-selected to join the staff of the Medical Executive Treatment Unit for President Barack Obama at the Navy Medicine Manpower Training and Education Command Bethesda, Maryland.

There, he was selected for the Navy’s Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program Duty Under Instruction, which allowed him to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Washington Adventist University’s School of Nursing, based in Tacoma Park, Maryland, and be commissioned in 2014.

As a Navy officer, Waite has served as a staff nurse for the Cardio Thoracic and Critical Care units at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California, and as a staff nurse aboard the USNS Mercy, working in the Intensive Care Unit providing medical support for citizens of countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

“The Navy has given me incredible opportunities to work with some of the most advanced surgeons and health care providers in the world,” Waite said, as he reflected on his career thus far.

In 2017, Waite participated in training under leadership experts John Maxwell and Ryan Michler.

“These men lead thousands of people daily through their platforms and have really assisted me in becoming aware of the impact one could have in the lives of others,” said Waite. “I have been fortunate to be mentored directly by both of them; their leadership has made me a well-rounded husband, father, and leader.”

Waite will graduate with a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Organizational Leadership as well as a Certificate from Cornell University’s High Performance Leadership Academy in 2019.  He aspires to become an instructor for the Navy’s Hospital Corpsman “A” School at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. 

“This would allow me to impact more people and share my knowledge and lessons learned with the next generation of Navy corpsmen, nurses, and doctors,” Waite said.

His long term goals include opening a leadership and development training company after he retires from the Navy in 2024.