FALLS CHURCH, Virginia —
Petty Officer 1st Class Alan P. Aaron, currently assigned as an instructor at the Hospital Corpsman Basic Program at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, was one of two Navy Medicine Sailors honored as 2019 recipients of the Armed Services YMCA Angels of the Battlefield Award in Falls Church, Virginia, Oct. 29.
Rear Adm. Terry Moulton, Navy Deputy Surgeon General and Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, presented the award to Aaron.
Aaron was serving aboard the USS John S. McCain (DD0-S6) when the ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, Aug. 21, 2017.
The morning of the collision, Aaron was just eating breakfast when he heard the loud sound and felt the shudder throughout the ship. He ran toward the direction of the noise as he saw Sailors escaping the damage control locker through a scuttle.
After the order came to close all watertight doors, Aaron was instructed to go to the medical area. When he arrived, Aaron took control and initiated a mass casualty response, conducting an on-scene assessment, setting up triage and coordinating the movements of patients to casualty collection points on the ship.
Aaron performed advanced first aid, basic life support, critical care and other medical management functions on nearly 50 Sailors in the first five hours after the collision. He depleted his stock of antibiotics treating nearly one-third of the crew exposed to fuel and black water. His actions contributed not only to the health of the crew and his patients, but also the survivability of the ship.
Also receiving the Angels of the Battlefield award was Petty Officer 1st Class Victor J. Desantis from Camp Pendleton, California.
The Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala is an Armed Services YMCA event honoring the individual men and women on the front lines who are saving lives and have demonstrated extraordinary courage. The Armed Services YMCA recognizes a single individual from each military branch for their accomplishments.
Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provide health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.