CENTCOM’s Navy leaders give back to Tampa Bay healthcare heroes

May 21, 2020

This year’s celebration of the chief petty officers birthday at U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) headquarters did not look like the typical traditional celebration.

CENTCOM’s senior enlisted leaders of the U.S. Navy celebrated their 127th birthday by giving back to healthcare professionals dedicated to combatting the Coronavirus pandemic in the Tampa Bay community.

“This year we were unable to celebrate on April 1st as it was right around when the social distancing order came out,” said Chief Petty Officer Juan Cisneros, Flag Writer to the Deputy Commander at CENTCOM. “We wanted to show Tampa General Hospital staff we appreciate them and their service to our community.”

After contacting and coordinating with staff at Tampa General Hospital, a group delivered the meals on May 14. The service members were unable to go into the hospital, instead meeting two team leaders outside to deliver the meals.

“To see the smiles of the staff, the two leads that met us, everyone’s spirits were lifted pretty quickly by that small show of kindness,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Gregory Chaney, Intelligence Operations Division’s senior enlisted leader at CENTCOM.

The Navy’s core value’s are Honor, Courage and Commitment. For Senior Chief Petty Officer Sherri Quimby, Operations Division’s human resources non-commissioned officer in charge at CENTCOM, this provided an opportunity for the chief petty officers to show an example of one of the core values.

“In this incidence we were committed to helping the healthcare workers. I felt like we helped out in little bit of sense. Maybe somebody skipped lunch and we were there to provide for them,” said Quimby.

Although this year’s chief petty officer birthday celebration looked different compared to past years, it could lead to a new tradition.

“One of the other associations on base reached out to me and would like to do something this year. I could see this going on for years to come,” said Cisneros.