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Chief Petty Officer Dan Messer
Chief Petty Officer Dan Messer ()

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — September has been a very good month for Chief Petty Officer Dan Messer.

The 31-year-old from Tulare, Calif., was promoted to his present rank and also learned he’d been awarded the Chief Hospital Corpsman George William “Doc” Piercy Award.

The award is presented to a corpsman or dental technician for contributing to the combat readiness of an air, ground or logistics element.

Of the 11 awards presented yearly by Capital Marines Marine and Navy Enlisted Awards program, it is the only one recognizing a sailor.

Messer was online looking for the results of the latest chief petty officer selections when he received the e-mail informing him of the award, he said Thursday.

His bosses at 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company nominated him for his work preparing the unit’s medical section for deployment to Iraq, said Sgt. Maj. Mark Freres, with 5th ANGLICO.

Messer arrived at the company in November 2005, two months after the company had been activated. According to his award nomination information, he was instrumental in preparing the company’s aid station for deploying personnel to a combat zone.

Within one month of Messer’s arrival, the company’s medical readiness rose 38 percentage points — from 60.2 percent to 98.2 percent. Within five months, he’d overseen completion of medical preparations, such as immunizations, HIV testing, physical exams and health and prevention medicine requirements, and training of corpsmen.

Messer, however, attributed the company’s readiness to the four corpsmen he directed.

“They took the direction and they did all the work,” he said. “If I could break this award into pieces and give it to them, I would.”

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