Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sara Freeman
Carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, Norfolk, Virginia

"When I walk through the p-ways and see sailors, I hope every one of them will be as positively engaging as petty officer Freeman - probably one of the strongest, most wellrounded corpsmen I have ever met."

Command Master Chief (SW/AW/IUSS) Shay Langejans

When Sara Freeman joined the Navy in 2009, she didn't know what a corpsman was. Today, she is among the best and brightest.

Eisenhower's command master chief calls her a "rock star" with a professional commitment that is uncommon among junior sailors. With a ship full of sailors like Freeman, "I could rule the world," said CMDCM Shay Langejans.

Leaders in the ship's medical department lauded Freeman's "infectious positive attitude," commitment to team, compassionate care, and excellence in every task she is given. Her efforts as the command pregnancy coordinator pushed women's health readiness to 89 percent. An additional 1,556 health assessments and nearly 4,000 immunizations, as well as qualifying 12 CPR heart-saver instructors and 54 students in basic life support, helped net a 99-percent individual medical readiness, the highest medically ready status in the fleet. Ike received the Medical Blue "H" gold star and Medical Blue "M" awards; officials described Freeman's contributions as invaluable and named her the Medical Department Petty Officer of the Year.

A survivor of sexual assault prior to joining the Navy,
Freeman has turned a personal trauma into a passion for helping others.

"When it happened to me, I didn't feel like I had anyone I could turn to," she said. "So I am very fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to help people who have been through the same thing, even if it is just to listen to them."

Freeman served as part of the carrier's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team and volunteers to help prevent sexual assault in the Hampton Roads community. She works with Virginia Goodwill Community Outreach and the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to feed and clothe people struggling with poverty, substance abuse and homelessness. She also has volunteered to help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in the Tidewater region as well as the "Paint Your Heart Out" endeavor to improve Chesapeake schools.

The 28-year-old attributes her success to life's experience and the example of strong leaders. She is working toward a bachelor's degree in nursing and plans to become a chief so she can guide and influence younger sailors.