Erik Gilliam is a Navy vet who, as a Hospital Corpsman/Diving Med Tech, served eight years on active duty (1975 – 1983) and eighteen years in the Navy Reserves (1984 – 2002). Typical for many Hospital Corpsmen his duties focused on trauma care, preventive medicine, and medical administration. Additionally, the prevention, recognition and treatment of diving injuries were the focus of his duties as a Diving Med Tech. The majority of his active duty and Reserve assignments were with various diving commands, including Underwater Construction Team 2 (UCT-2), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU-2),UCT-1 and SEAL Team 4. Erik also received additional training, and certification, as an Instructor and served in an instructor billet at the Navy Submarine School, New London. The instructor/diver billet he was assigned to at the Sub School was at the Submarine Escape Training Tank. While in the Reserves, Erik was recalled to active duty to support Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the year recalled he was assigned initially to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda and later reassigned to SEAL Team Four. At the time of his retirement Erik held the rank of Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman.
For a year after leaving active duty he worked as a commercial diver in New England and then turned his focus to education. While attending the University of Florida, Erik worked part time at the Hyperbaric Medicine department at the Shands Hospital, which is affiliated with UF. He successfully applied his diving med and diving systems knowledge gained from during his Navy service to the Hyperbaric Medicine department’s operations. From his experience at Shands, Erik learned firsthand the clinical benefits and use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Erik completed a Bachelor’s Degree in History from UF in 1988. In early 1989 he accepted a job with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Training Specialist supporting the development and teaching of training applications for the Composite Health Care System (CHCS), DoD’s electronic medical information system.
Erik worked at SAIC for twelve years and for the most part work in various roles supporting the development and deployment of CHCS. After SAIC, Erik worked with a variety of companies that were involved, for the most part, with the development and deployment of medical information systems. During this time, on both medical and non-medical projects, Erik used and improved his skill and knowledge of training, system deployment, customer service/support, project and program management. He earned his Program Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2007 and has actively maintained that certification since.
In March of 2011 Erik accepted a Government position with the Air Force working in the Medical Modernization Division of the Air Force Medical Support Agency (AFMSA). In this role he provides oversight for medical research and medical equipment development projects. Erik played a significant part in the initial development and subsequent refinement of the AFMSA strategic plan for medical modernization research. His knowledge of diving and hyperbaric medicine, military field medicine, as well as experience with the Special Warfare community, have had direct application to the work that AFMSA is funds, supports and directs. Erik’s project management experience has been well utilized in his collateral role of Contracting Officer
Representative (COR) for the Division’s Advisory and Assistance Support contract. Experience Erik gained from managing and supporting staff assigned to locations across the U.S. and Europe has been used successfully to develop and maintain formal and informal lines of communication with a wide variety of stakeholders. The command staff at Air Force Major Commands (MAJCOMs), commercial and academic researchers, vendors and senior Air Force leadership represent the range of stakeholders that Erik effectively communications with on a regular basis. His ability to incorporate and apply knowledge gained from a wide range of experiences and education to move the AFMSA mission forward has been appreciated. Erik was recognized as the AFMSA Civilian (Cat III)* of the Quarter, October – December 2011 and subsequently recognized as the AFMSA Civilian (Cat III) of the Year, 2011. Recognition of his accomplishments was capped by being named the Air Force Surgeon General’s Civilian (Cat III) of the Year, 2011.
*Civilian (Cat III) – Government civilian personnel, GS 13 – GS 15
I was born and raised in Fullerton, California from 1966 until I departed for Navy Bootcamp in December of 1985. My younger years from age 3 to 14 were spent in competitive swimming, and in my junior high and high school years I was president and competed with the high school surfing team. I started studying diving as an occupation for credit units as a sophomore in high school and it was in my junior year that I decided to delay enlist in the Navy to pursue a career in diving.
My orders out of Bootcamp were to Equipment Operator “A” school and upon graduation I received orders to Underwater Construction Team Two en route to U.S. Navy Second Class Dive School. I graduated dive school in October of 1986 as an E-2, when at the time, the lowest rank at the Team was an E-5. I went on to serve twenty years in Port Hueneme and retired as a Chief Petty Officer with full benefits in 2005. I did one 2-year tour outside the diving community as a military trainer for the “A” school classes. My last tour with Underwater Construction Team Two, was as the Officer in Charge of a 15-man diving detachment.
I feel my 19 years spent in the diving community, gives me a historical feel of the Team through the various generations that mentored me and to the men and women I was privileged to work along side and mentor as well.
The spouse of a Navy Seabee Diver, Vinita Anand has been involved with the Seabee diving community for 12-plus years. During that time, many divers have come and gone from Underwater Construction Team Two, and because of this, Anand sees the importance in having an organization whose purpose is to preserve the rich history and collect the “sea stories” of the Seabee divers, both young and old.
Anand works as a resource and information specialist at Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, a nonprofit that provides services and supports for children and adults, with and at risk for, developmental delays and disabilities. She has been responsible for the Center’s public relations, including Web site, Intranet, e-mail newsletter communications, various print publications, Network of Care, and many other projects during the 10 years she has worked for the organization.
She is currently serving as treasurer on the all volunteer board at her homeowners association, where she actively works with management to ensure a pleasurable living experience while at the same time ensuring that the individual homes and common area are maintained to the highest standards. Her most recent volunteer experience was coordinating a local neighborhood spay/neuter effort for feral cats, through which 40-plus cats and kittens were trapped, fixed, socialized and placed in forever homes.
She chaired the Family Readiness Group at Underwater Construction Team Two from fall 2007 to fall 2009, during which numerous social and educational activities and events were planned for the families stationed at the Command, such as holiday events, deployment briefs, personal safety and security training and welcome home activities. “This was a great opportunity to build and grow an organization whose primary mission is to ensure families are ready and prepared for and feel supported during deployments, thereby ensuring mission readiness and success,” explains Anand. As chair, Anand managed multiple committees, including welcome, event and fundraising. She also served concurrently as recording and correspondence secretary and was responsible for all aspects of communication from minutes to e-mail correspondence, the Web site, making flyers and promoting events.
Another notable experience for Anand was volunteering at the Wildlife Waystation, a nonprofit that rescues wild animals and provides lifelong sanctuary and rehabilitates native wildlife, where she assisted with many activities, including cleaning animal cages, organizing work parties around the ranch to clear brush and repair infrastructure, and planning twice yearly volunteer appreciation events for 400-plus staff and volunteers.
Anand has a master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Environmental Health and a bachelor’s degree in Geography/Environmental Studies, both obtained from the University of California, Los Angeles.
In her free time, Anand, who lives in Port Hueneme, enjoys spending time with her husband homebrewing and at the beach, and with her family in Los Angeles. She also enjoys reading everything from non-fiction to murder/mystery and international spy thrillers.