USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
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Story Number: NNS090414-16 

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Christopher D. Fairbanks, Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island (LHD 8) Public Affairs

-- Thousands of men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces were recognized during the San Diego Padres Military Appreciation Opening Night at Petco Park April 8 with each branch of the military standing along the third base line to be recognized as military members of the year.

Among them stood Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW/FMF) James M. Nicholson, a Sailor recently attached to Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island (LHD 8).

Nicholson attributed his success to the hard work of his peers and subordinates.

"I took care of my Sailors, and my Sailors took care of me. Without them, I wouldn't be here."

Nicholson could not impress enough the importance of taking care of your people.

"Leadership is not an excuse to do less," he said. "It's an opportunity to do more."

Recognizing the armed forces is something the Padres organization will be doing throughout the season.

"We're being recognized by the Padres and the local community," said Nicholson. "I'm here on [the local community's] behalf."

As part of that recognition, the Padres wore camouflage-styled uniforms to salute the military.

Nicholson is continuing his career with attendance at Independent Duty Corpsman School at Balboa Medical Center in San Diego and is excited about what his future holds.

"My next goal is to become a senior medical department representative on a small boy [smaller class of ship]."

"To be successful in the Navy, one must embody the energy of his [or her] juniors while seeking the wisdom of the chiefs. Keep your finger on the pulse," Nicholson added. "That's how you succeed in the Navy."

For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit Makin Island (LHD 8), visit

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