By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Heather M. Paape, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 1's Medical Department was the first iverine command to earn the Force Health and Wellness Unit Award, or Green "H," March 13 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
The Green "H" is an annual award earned by commands who demonstrate medical readiness, physical readiness and commitment to health, fitness and mental well-being of its Sailors throughout the year. Commands display their commitment by participating in activities such as, smoking cessation courses, tactical combat causality care, drug and alcohol programs, suicide awareness classes, fitness sessions and education on healthy living.
Participating commands from NECC were judged upon their medical readiness standards from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011. Capt. Christopher Halton, commodore of Riverine Group 1, visited RIVRON 1 March 19 to congratulate the command on their award.
"This is the first time in Riverine history that the Green "H" was awarded to any Riverine Squadron and RIVRON 1 is the first and only," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Julian Torres, RIVRON 1 medical department. "We are very proud as a medical department to have helped receive this award and to make sure our Riverines are deployment ready."
The Green "H" demonstrates RIVRON 1's dedication to helping shipmates make productive changes in their lives. It also encourages participation in health promotion by providing resources to ensure the Sailor's health is at the highest level, and by offering every opportunity to educate the command.
"The Green 'H' is like the Battle 'E' of medicine," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brett McIlmail, RIVRON 1 medical department. "Winning has definitely increased the morale of the command and is just another testament that we provide the best care for our Sailors."
Commands that earn the Force Health and Wellness Unit Award are authorized to paint a green "H" to display evidence of the honor. For each consecutive competition won, the command may paint a hash mark, below the green "H".
"It's not just the medical department that won the Green "H," but the command as a whole," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Anthony Royal, leading chief petty officer, RIVRON 1 Medical Department. "We won because of the effort that was put forward by every Sailor in the command."
The medical department ensures that the Riverine Force is deployable and capable of accomplishing their mission of providing an offensive combat component to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Navy brown and green water operation areas.