06/20/2013 -- Encouraging family, friends, co-workers and fellow service members to always remember troops who are serving in harm’s way, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson tearfully bid farewell to his three-year post Friday as commander of Naval Branch Health Clinic, here.
Goodson relinquished his command of the clinic and transitioned supervision of his staff to Lt. Cmdr. Raymond M. “Mike” Bristol, a native of Adel, Ga., and a graduate of Cook High School there.
During the dual ceremony at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s NBHC, Goodson, who assumed command of the clinic in February 2011, passed the torch to Bristol and retired from a 28-year Navy career.
Col. Donald J. Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, praised both Sailors and said, “Both men represent their service and their country well.”
“Community personnel, this clinic has always honored a state of medical readiness that makes life and work possible here at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany,” Davis said, in his remarks to those who witnessed the change of charge ceremony.
Davis continued, “It is written that without vision the people will perish. Lieutenant Commander Goodson’s (visionary) leadership has helped to shape (where) you are today as well as where you are going.”
“It was Lieutenant Commander Goodson, who first brought up the idea of bringing the Veterans Administration services aboard the base as a means to better serve our community - active, reserve, retired and veterans alike,” the colonel said. “I am grateful for that leadership and that vision.”
“Likewise, Lieutenant Commander Mike Bristol has vision,” Davis added. “After speaking with him (last week), it is clear to me that he is ready to take the reins and he is ready to serve our community just as Lieutenant Commander Goodson has.”
Bristol began his naval career a few months after his high school graduation in November 1984. After attending basic training and Hospital Corpsman School at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., he deployed to the Western Pacific and advanced to hospital corpsman second class in 1985.
Over the next several years, Bristol earned his associate’s degree and advanced through the ranks as a general duty corpsman and preventive medicine technician. After training at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., in 1996, he was promoted to senior chief petty officer in 1997 and was commissioned to ensign in the Medical Service Corps in December 1998.
In May 2004, Bristol earned a Master in Business Administration degree from Old Dominion University and transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. While at NPS, he earned a Master of Science in Management (Manpower) and completed the Command and Staff course.
Chief Petty Officer Justin Haugland, senior enlisted leader at NBHC, offered his depiction of his new OIC.
“Lieutenant Commander Bristol’s (career) is very similar to Lieutenant Commander Goodson’s, which is very common in the medical field,” he said.
According to Haugland, “(Bristol) did 14 years as enlisted and he was a preventive medicine technician. As an enlisted corpsman, (he) made it all the way up to senior chief, which is E-8. To reach E-8 in 14 years is pretty telling of his performance.”
“Everything that I’ve heard from other people, most who are senior to him, had nothing but good praise to say about him,” Haugland said. “(Bristol’s) a very hard worker, very dedicated and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Petty Officer First Class Steve David, supply manager, NBHC, echoed Haugland’s sentiments about Bristol.
“Like Lieutenant (Commander) Goodson, Lieutenant Commander Bristol was a senior chief, and they have a certain vibe about them,” David said.
David continued, “Chiefs command respect, and as soon as you meet Lieutenant Commander Bristol, it resonates — it oozes out of him. I am truly looking forward to working with him, for sure.”
Fellow corpsmen also had nothing but praise for their former OIC, who prior to assuming his charge, was the clinic’s manager and administrative department head for 13 months.
“Lieutenant Commander Goodson (served) 28 years and 7 months, I believe,” David said. “He does a lot for enlisted and commissioned (personnel). So, (his accolades are) well-deserved.”
“Commander Goodson pushes you — he challenges you,” David added. “He expects excellence so that pushes the crew to not (be) mediocre, (but) to do great. That was very empowering.”
“I have served with Lieutenant Commander Goodson for the past 18 months,” Haugland recalled. “The way (he) describes it is — he has the vision and he expects me to actually get it done.”
“He does not except mediocrity and you can’t (be) when you’re (the OIC) ultimately in charge of a medical clinic, and you’re treating other people - not just the active-duty Marines, but their family and their kids,” Haughland said.
According to Haugland, “(Goodson) talks about how we’re privileged to take care of every single person (who) comes through that door. They’re a hero themselves — whether they’re a 4-year-old kid, a 28-year-old spouse, an active-duty colonel or a private first class - it doesn’t matter. We do the best for each and every patient, no exceptions.”
During his retirement ceremony, that followed his relinquishment, to honor his 28 years of faithful service to his country, Goodson received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a letter of appreciation from Navy Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Medical Corps M. L. Nathan; letters of congratulation from former President George W. Bush; Rear Admiral E. S. Niemyer, Director, Nurse Corps; and Gov. Rick Scott, R- Fla., a certificate of recognition from Gov. Rick Perry, R- Texas, and an American flag, which flew on the Navy ship, the USS Arizona.
Goodson’s wife, Jennifer and sons, Justin and Travis as well as other immediate family members were recognized with certifications of appreciation at the ceremony.
After his retirement, Goodson will transition into civilian life as the director of Marine and Family Programs, here.
A reception held inside NBHC’s atrium concluded Goodson’s retirement celebration.