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MTF Logistics Specialist Plays Key Role in Assuring High Reliability

Image of Military personnel sitting in cubicle and smiling. Click to open a larger version of the image. LSSN Nydera Walker in her cubical in the Directorate for Resource Management at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms. (Photo by David Marks, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms.)

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Frequently it’s the front-line providers who are profiled to represent Navy Medicine.

Working beneath the surface, however, are the administrators, supply officers, maintenance techs and an army of dedicated staff who assure that when a provider reaches for a tongue depressor, syringe or bandage, it’s available. If a critical, yet seemingly innocuous item in the medical inventory is depleted, the consequences can cascade, and eventually could affect patient care.

Serving as a warranted contract official in the Directorate of Resource Management at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms (NHTP), Navy Logistics Specialist Seaman (LSSN) Nydera Walker is responsible for ordering supplies for the military medical treatment facility and assuring that medical inventories are maintained.

Walker arrived at NHTP two years ago as a logistics seaman recruit, having just completed the five-week Logistics A-School in Meridian, Mississippi. Prior to joining the Navy she worked in a call center for medical alerts.

Walker joined the Navy because she wanted to see the world. Her recruiter was a logistics specialist. And Walker, not wanting to be listed as “undecided,” chose the logistics route as well. “He pretty much sold it,” she said. She has no regrets. After working in the logistics field for two years and becoming a critical in the inventory chain, she plans to become a supply officer.

She’s currently finishing her final class for an undergraduate degree in pre-optometry, and explained how priorities change as you grow and gain experience. She now plans to work on a Master’s degree in business management and then apply for an officer-commissioning program.

Walker explained how she likes the logistics field because it’s similar to the customer service she was doing at the call center. “It’s getting customers what they need and making sure they are satisfied,” she said – and that makes her feel appreciated.

“She executes orders from the medical supply vendors, makes sure the orders are in, makes sure the inventory catalogs throughout the hospital are well organized and that her customers are getting the correct supplies,” said Anthony Lambert, assistant department head for the material management department. “Her replacement has very big shoes to fill.”

When asked who she admires most, Walker immediately name her father who served 10 years as an electrician’s mate in the Navy. “He always found a way to keep family important,” she said. “He’s been through some tough times and has always managed to make his way back on top. That’s inspiring to me because it’s easy to give up when times get hard. My inspiration is my dad. He keeps pushing so I keep pushing too.”

In early May, Walker departed NHTP for a new assignment on the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

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