Downey's Robert Calderon provides healthcare for U.S. Navy sailors

SAN DIEGO - A 2007 Warren High School graduate and Downey, California native is serving in the U.S. Navy at Surface Warfare Medicine Institute (SWMI).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Calderon serves as a hospital corpsman at the San Diego based training center. According to Navy officials, the institute’s purpose is providing medical education, operational training and certification for medical, dental and fleet personnel ashore and afloat.

“I am currently a student in the independent duty corpsman program,” said Calderon. “I like the physical challenge of this program. I am learning a lot of things and feel like I've grown as a corpsman.”

The sailors who are part of Navy medicine are the most highly trained, educated and specialized force in history, said Navy officials. The role of Navy medicine in preserving the healthy and fighting readiness of that force has never been greater or more critical.

"The Surface Warfare Medical Institute teaches 13 courses to over 800 students annually,” said Cmdr. Steven Parks, Officer in Charge of the Surface Warfare Medical Institute. “The training we provide enables our Physicians, Nurses, Medical Service Corps Officers, and Corpsman to directly support the Navy and Marine Corps combat teams.  The leadership, mentorship and influence that our staff has on our students is second to none.”

Parks added that he is proud that SWMI's mission will have long lasting positive impact and benefits to Navy Medicine for years to come.

Calderon said he feels honored to be able to serve at a command that is continually raising the bar in healthcare.

“As a student I believe the instructors are very supportive and good at their jobs,” said Calderon.”They are a good resource for students now and after graduating the program.”

Those who serve in Navy medicine understand that they play a key role in meeting the missions of our armed forces, according to Navy officials.

“The Navy is the only job I've ever had,” added Calderon. “I would not know what to do outside of the Navy. I was born in Ecuador and this was my calling.”