JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Approximately 50 percent of Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio’s military, civilian and contract personnel is comprised of women, so it’s fitting that the 2022 theme of Women's History Month is “Providing Healing. Promoting Hope.”
One of the highly professional women within Navy Medicine is Cmdr. Leslie Trippe, department head of the environmental surveillance and epidemiology departments of NAMRU San Antonio’s Craniofacial Health and Restorative Medicine Directorate.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and raised in Houston, Trippe has been serving America’s Navy for 13 years, first serving aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
A graduate of the Baylor College of Dentistry, Trippe was recruited for the Navy as a dental hygienist.
“Honestly, I was trying to obtain scholarship funds to offset the cost of dental school,” said Trippe, who obtained her master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I figured that the Navy may be a good career for me and that I could be stationed near the ocean.”
Trippe, who has been a dentist for 22 years, says that the best part of being in the Navy is working with people and accomplishing the mission.
“I am a dentist serving in a research command which is out of my comfort zone of patient care but strongly feel that I am able to contribute to the command’s mission,” Trippe said. “Our mission can only be accomplished with having a very competent and dedicated workforce.”
As the department head for environmental surveillance, Trippe is responsible for overseeing the development and testing of systems and technologies that minimize the environmental impact and occupational hazards of Navy dentistry while the epidemiology department conducts research that investigates factors that impact the readiness of Sailors and Marines while deployed and in garrison.
In addition to her department head duties, Trippe serves as the program manager for NAMRU San Antonio’s Medical Inspector General Program as well as the Command Managed Equal Opportunity Program.
According to Trippe, Women’s History Month is a wonderful time of year when young girls and women have an opportunity to learn about all the amazing success stories of women within the armed forces.
“Women in the military have had various experiences and sharing those experiences shows our youngsters that pretty much anything is attainable,” Trippe said. “My service in the Navy has provided me with security and many benefits that come along with a wonderful career.”
In addition to being an example to others within NAMRU San Antonio, Trippe utilizes some of her off-duty time to volunteer for Lasagna Love, a global nonprofit and grassroots movement that aims to positively impact communities by connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery. She also volunteers in support of her daughter’s high school marching band.
NAMRU San Antonio’s mission is to conduct gap-driven combat casualty care, craniofacial, and directed energy research to improve survival, operational readiness, and safety of Department of Defense personnel engaged in routine and expeditionary operations.
It is one of the leading research and development laboratories for the U.S. Navy under the Department of Defense and is one of eight subordinate research commands in the global network of laboratories operating under the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.