Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Winette A. Cox trained 792 volunteers to be sailors as a recruit division commander. Of that number, 63 were meritoriously advanced partly because of her leadership skills, said Capt. John W. Peterson, commanding officer of Navy Recruit Training Command.
Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (AW) Jovan Gates, one of Cox’s colleagues, recalled getting frustrated with a recruit who was having a hard time folding uniforms. Cox calmly pulled the recruit aside and had him try to pick up coins. After watching him struggle, Cox referred him to medical, where he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. “She is intuitive, sharp and compassionate,” Gates said.
Cox played a key role in the recruit convalescent program, which had a 95 percent graduation rate. Cox also helped raise more than $300 for nearby Green Bay Elementary School, while spearheading several projects at Saint James High School in Highwood, Ill. She also frequently served as a judge during local junior ROTC drill competitions.
While deployed to Iraq, Bowes worked with his home church in Memphis to collect winter coats for more than 100 children in Habbaniyah.
At home, Bowes has donated more than 600 hours of his time to the Naval Sea Cadets Corps leadership program, said Cmdr. R.L. Kay, officer in charge of the Naval Branch Health Clinic. Bowes ran a uniform drive that saved the group $1,000.
And when this fifth-generation sailor broke his neck while body-surfing during a vacation in Hawaii, he took only a month off and returned to work with a neck brace so he could be a “good example” for the kids he mentored. He also passed the physical readiness test just five months after he was injured.
At work, Bowes’ efforts as leading petty officer of the preventive medicine department directly resulted in zero discrepancies during the command’s last inspector general inspection, according to Kay.
Also, Bowes’ department was recognized for its environmental program.