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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2013

Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program marks historic milestone with 10,000th Navy graduate

By Larry Coffey Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

A newly-designated hospital corpsman became the 10,000th Navy graduate of the Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program Nov. 22.

The program began April 27, 2011, after the Hospital Corps School at Great Lakes, Ill., graduated its final students July 27, 2011.

Seaman Jordan Hakes is among the one-third of approximately 30,000 of today's Navy hospital corpsmen who are graduates of the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston-based training program, according to Master Chief Hospital Petty Officer Shanon Best. Best is the Navy Medicine Training Support Center command master chief, the parent command of Navy corpsmen instructors, staff and students working and studying at the tri-service Medical Education and Training Campus.

Navy corpsmen have trained side by side with their Army and Air Force counterparts in basic and advanced "A" and "C" School programs since METC opened its doors June 30, 2010 as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure initiative.

BRAC 2005 closed Navy, Army and Air Force enlisted medical training facilities across the country and co-located them as an integrated campus under a single university-style administration.

METC is the largest consolidation of service training in Department of Defense history and is the world's largest military medical education and training institution.

Hakes, a native of Flagstaff, Ariz., said he received no advance warning that he was graduate No. 10,000, though the 89 graduates knew their class had the 10,000th graduate in their midst.

"I didn't really know what to do," Hakes said of the moment he was announced as the milestone graduate. "I just knew it took a while when they called my name. It was a really unique experience and I'm really glad to be a part of it."

Hakes will remain at METC and train at the tri-service Radiology "C" School. For the moment, he said he's going to enjoy the milestone and ponder his newfound luck.

"It's a milestone for the program for sure and I'm honored that I happened to be that graduate," he said. "Maybe I should go out and buy some lottery tickets."

NMTSC is an echelon four command reporting to the Navy Medicine Education and Training Command. It is part of the Navy Medicine team, a global healthcare network of Navy medical professionals who provide health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing mission support.