CAMP PENDLETON Calif. -- Working for the Navy can provide opportunities to see the world, broaden horizons and become an effective leader.Petty Officer 2nd Class Andres Aguirre, a hospital corpsman and platoon sergeant with Bravo Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, is a prime example of a sailor who has traveled to far off countries and learned to lead from the front. Aguirre recently returned from Brazil where he was the duty corpsman for the Brazil Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expertise Exchange, a bilateral training exercise between Marines from 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, and Brazilian Marine Corps military policemen. Aguirre is slated to return in the near future and participate in a follow-on exercise where sailors with 1st Med. Bn. are planning to train with their Brazilian counterparts improve their combat life-saving skills. “My purpose for this mission was solely corpsman coverage, in case any of our guys were hurt or injured.” said Aguirre, a native of Houston. “Pretty much everything [the military policemen] did, I was able to do. The people there are really humble and welcoming. My favorite thing about Brazil was the camaraderie we built with the Brazilian Military.” While Aguirre loves to travel and see the world, it is difficult for him to be away from his family. Aguirre has a wife and two children at home and sometimes is unable to see them for months at a time. “It can be pretty tough on the family,” said Aguirre. “But, the kids are getting older and I think my son understands.” Despite having to leave his family, Aguirre finds motivation to go above and beyond everyday at work. “I enjoy what I do,” said Aguirre. “I enjoy having a leadership role. I enjoy taking care of my troops. Being in the medical community, at first I was hesitant, but it’s been great.” As the platoon sergeant, Aguirre is responsible for roughly 100 sailors. He ensures everyone is working hard and at the end of the day, completes the mission at hand. “My responsibility is making sure these [sailors] are on task,” said Aguirre. “I’m the link between the staff and the junior enlisted: the staff tells me this needs to be done and I’m the guy that makes sure that it gets done.” Aguirre is well respected in Bravo Co., and his leadership is outstanding according to his superiors and the sailors he works alongside. “His performance as a Second Class Petty Officer is way beyond that of any other Second Class Petty Officer I’ve ever encountered in the Navy,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Geno Oliva, leading petty officer, Bravo Co., 1st Med. Bn. “He makes sure the show runs smoothly.” Aguirre exceeds the expectations set for him in order to ensure that his sailors are set up for success. “He is always conscious of the safety, morale and welfare of his troops,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Cordero, independent duty corpsman, Bravo Co., 1st Med. Bn. “If you were to go into a firefight, you would want him on your six, protecting your back. He’s got you.”
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