GREAT LAKES (NNS) — Seaman Recruit Morgan R. Sheffield, Division 150, graduated as the top sailor from Recruit Training Command, earning the Military Excellence Award on April 10.
Sheffield, from Sierra Vista, said she joined the Navy because of her passion for service and a strong sense of patriotism.
“I wanted to make a career utilizing these traits,” she said. “I love my country and helping others and joining the Navy as a corpsman will allow me to serve in the best way possible. Additionally, with the Navy being a global force and my rate being one that could take me anywhere, the idea that I could use my skills that I learn through both the Navy and my rate to help others around the world is so exciting.”
Sheffield, 23, is a 2015 graduate of Buena High School. She played varsity softball and was a member of the marching band. She represented her school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, World Leadership Congress, and Tri-M (music honor society). Sheffield was a member of Girl Scouts of America for 10 years, earning a bronze award.
In 2019, Sheffield received a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, exercise and wellness from Arizona State University, where she member of the marching band.
“I feel that my ability to remain disciplined and dedicated while being involved in multiple activities and having leadership responsibilities in many of those activities has prepared me,” she said. “Whenever I pursue something, I put the most effort, care, and attention into it to ensure the job is done efficiently and on time. Additionally, when challenges arise, I choose to accept them and use them to grow from the experience.”
Sheffield is assigned the rate of Hospital Corpsman.
The Navy Club of the United States Military Excellence Award (MEA) is the top award presented to the No. 1 recruit of their graduating training group. The MEA is awarded to the recruit that best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military bearing and teamwork. The award placed her at the pinnacle of today’s newest sailors. Sheffield is awarded a flag letter of commendation.
Sheffield said she was overwhelmed with pride and joy to be selected for the MEA.
“I have always had great respect for those who serve in the military and I have wanted to join that legacy of service since high school,” Sheffield said. “To have been awarded the MEA, I feel a great deal of responsibility to carry myself in the highest standard of order. discipline, and honor as a sailor whenever I have come across a challenging situation. I have reminded myself that my hard work and discipline have paid off and that I can continue to push myself to become a better sailor.”
Sheffield credited her Recruit Division Commanders, Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Theordore BeasleyHenderson, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Tiffany Willis, and Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class John Wright Jr., for their leadership and guidance.
Her brother, Marine Corps Corporal Trevor Sheffield, also was a source of motivation.
“He has overcome many challenges to be where he is today,” Sheffield said. “Shortly after he graduated from basic training he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Instead of quitting, he received treatment for six months and returned to full duty to continue his service in the Marines. Even throughout his treatment, he held to the same standards that Marines are expected to uphold. He acts with the highest level of honor and integrity in all that he does and that pushed me to carry myself in the same way here at boot camp and throughout my Navy career.”
Sheffield said the biggest challenge she faced at boot camp was maintaining a balance between holding a leadership position and creating teamwork within my division.
“I hold myself to a high standard, both in my actions and morals, and I expect the same standards for all those around me,” she said. “This proved to be difficult because there was a lot of pushback and no teamwork going on within the division. While this was difficult in the beginning, I learned to find out the individual strengths of the members of the division so that we could come together. At times, I can be close-minded to alternate ideas, but learning to use not only my strengths but the strengths of those around me to accomplish a task helped to gain a new and more effective perspective on my leadership.”
After graduation, Sheffield will attend “A” School in San Antonio, Texas. Hospital Corpsmen perform duties as assistants to medical and dental professionals in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing dental and medical care to Naval personnel and their families.
Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seasmanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. More than 35,000 recruits are trained annually at RTC and begin their Navy careers.
For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc