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Chief Petty Officer Danell Dumas was born on the Caribbean Island of Dominica and moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has currently served 16 years in the Navy.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Danell Dumas

9 Dec 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

I moved from Dominica when I was 19. Our education was a little different, so by that age I had already completed 2 years of college. I was a business student, which ment I took economics and accounting but I also took a lot of sociology. I love learning about how people interact with each other.

Adapting to life in the U.S. was difficult. At the time I had a green card and wasn’t a naturalized citizen.

I was a student at the University of the Virgin Islands and worked full time. I was given the choice to either move with my family or set out on my own.

After some consideration, I decided to go out on my own. I figured the easiest way to do that was to join the military. Back then you ordered a video to get the information you wanted. After that I started getting calls from the recruiter. Two weeks later, I had taken the [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] and enlisted in the Navy.

After my first two years of college, I taught for about a year. I wanted to continue giving back to people. I decided to be a Navy Corpsman because I wanted to be part of a job field where I could help people.

So far, I’ve had an interesting career in the Navy. Although I wanted to be a corpsman, I didn’t start out as one. I joined as a deck seaman back when you

could join the Navy without a specialty. The idea was that you would work toward the job you wanted.

After a year on a ship, I was given the opportunity to go to school and become a corpsman. Toward the end of school, I was told that I was going to be a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman. I didn’t know that the Navy even attached to the Marine Corps, but after my course I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

Being stationed there was awesome. I had gone from living on a little island to a different island on the other side of the world.

I have been stationed on the USS Supply; Okinawa, Japan; London; Jacksonville, Fla.; San Diego, Calif.; and now here at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms. 

I have been stationed here for one and a half years. This is a small hospital which allows all the people here to get to know each other closely. Because we know each other so well I feel that we are able to help the people here better.

This hospital is also unique in that we serve everyone from newborns, to Marines, to retirees.

Throughout the time I have spent in the Navy, I have been part of units that are primarily corpsman and sailors as well as units that are mostly Marines.


As corpsmen, we help the privates all the way up to the unit’s Commanding Officer. If you treat all of them with same respect they will show you that same respect.

My career in the Navy has been great so far. I have been able to help people throughout my service and plan to continue helping Marines and their families.

When Marines start calling you 'Doc' it means that they trust you and know you will help them.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms