Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

From coast to coast, Navy personnel helping stop COVID-19 spread

Military personnel wearing face mask getting people ready for the COVID-19 vaccine Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz (left), from Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton, is supporting community-based vaccination sites in New Jersey. FEMA personnel along with the Department of Defense’s Title 10 Vaccination Support Team are helping residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 (Photo by: Kenneth Wilsey, Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton has sent several staff members across the continent to aid the Department of Defense Community Vaccination Center support.

Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz, chief experience officer and pharmacist, and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Erick Morcillo of surgical services are deployed as part of U.S. Northern Command to assist whole-of-government vaccination efforts in New Jersey

Schwartz and Morcillo are but two of approximately 6,000 Navy Medicine active and reserve component personnel deployed in support of operational COVID-19 missions, augmenting the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The two departed in March with a Navy and Army team of 23 members from across the nation. As part of DOD's Title 10 Vaccination Support Team, they have been working directly with FEMA, Joint Task Force Civil Support, New Jersey State Police, other law enforcement officers, local departments of health, AmeriCorps, Rutgers University nursing students, and other DOD staff and partners.

They are helping to provide Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 1,800 people weekly in three urban underserved communities in Orange and Newark, New Jersey.

"We are in a supporting role to FEMA and New Jersey including relevant departments of health," said Schwartz, working out of vaccination sites that include local churches and schools.

The DOD received a request from FEMA in February for support in administering COVID-19 vaccine at locations across the country. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the request to augment and expedite vaccinations nation-wide, ordering the first contingent of more than 1,000 active duty military personnel to support state vaccination sites. As Austin announced, DOD "must help the federal government move further and faster to eradicate the devastating effects of the coronavirus."

The fatality figures are daunting. The virus has claimed more American lives than those lost in all military campaigns from World War Two to the present.

"The greatest challenge to our country right now is the pandemic," Austin said.

Schwartz, Morcillo, and others on teams at approximately 17 community vaccination centers in 12 states are taking on that task to help eliminate the virus. Their efforts are adding up. According to statistics from U.S. Northern Command, as of April 16, 2021, over 3 million vaccinations have been administered by active duty DOD service members in communities across the country.

"Our team, along with other joint teams supporting urban underserved communities, is not only increasing the total number of people vaccinated, but is specifically increasing the percentage of people of color vaccinated," said Schwartz. "The soft power and healing hands we project in urban underserved communities throughout our COVID-19 vaccine mission has made a difference not only in the health of the people we serve, but also a lasting positive impact in hearts and minds."

With his Navy Medical Service Corps background and experience in pharmacy, Schwartz has provided crucial capability in vaccine handling.

"Once daily supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials is received, my expertise in pharmacy enables safe administration of vaccine," he said. "Throughout the day, we prepare dosages for administration and ensure other members on the team appropriately prepare dosages."

One of those team members is Morcillo.

"HM3 Morcillo has been instrumental in administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to community members. He has also served as a translator for those who speak Spanish," Schwartz said, adding that all service members have made a favorable impression in providing support in an area where the presence of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine uniforms isn't commonplace.

"Many of the community members I have interacted with have voiced their appreciation of the service we provide. I feel positive about the work we are doing, and having the community's support is very meaningful," said Schwartz.

You also may be interested in...

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

May Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.