Naval Medical Research Center 2017 Senior and Junior Sailor of the Year

SILVER SPRING, Md. –The Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) recognized two of its own as the cream of the crop as the Senior Sailor of the Year and Junior Sailor of the Year 2017. The Sailor of the Year program honors Sailors who have a history of proven leadership, dedication, a high level of professionalism, and a history of command impact and mission contribution.

The 2017 Senior Sailor of the Year is Hospital Corpsman First Class Karen Graydon, and the Junior Sailor of the Year is Hospital Corpsman First Class Nicole Mattera.

“We hold our Sailors to high expectations and I am exceptionally proud of these two – they have a proven track record of upholding these high standards and excelling in times of challenge,” said Senior Chief Paul Duncan, Senior Enlisted Leader.

A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Graydon enlisted the Navy in 2002 and departed on her first tour of duty, the USS Harpers Ferry LSD 49, as a Culinary Specialist before cross rating to the rank of Hospital Corpsman (HM) in 2005. After spending time at the Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, and embarking on her first duty station as a HM at Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, she completed tours at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and the 3D Medical Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, before being stationed at NMRC. In support of the NMRC mission, Graydon works in the Biological Defense Research Directorate as the Leading Petty Officer for the only Bio-Warfare Detection Quality Assurance Program.

“The Navy has been a part of who I am for over 15 years, and it is has taught me to be independent, to have pride, and the value of a can-do attitude, teamwork and satisfaction in a job well done,” said Graydon.

A native of Palatine, Illinois, Mattera enlisted in the Navy in 2010 and departed to her first duty station in Okinawa, Japan, where she worked as an Emergency Medical Technician before being stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, with the 1st Medical Battalion where she was assigned to the Bravo Surgical Company for three years. Currently stationed at NMRC, Mattera is the Administration Leading Petty Officer in the Directorate for Administration.

“This selection means a lot to me,” said Mattera. “It is a direct reflection of my fellow Sailors and leadership who have and continue to provide me with guidance, support and are always pushing me to better myself and be the best Sailor I can be.”

Headquarters of the Navy Medicine Research and Development enterprise, NMRC’s mission is to conduct health and medical research, development, testing, evaluation, and surveillance to enhance deployment readiness of Department of Defense personnel worldwide. NMRC is a research organization with the vision of world-class, operationally relevant health and medical research solutions.

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub ( The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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