CHERRY POINT, N.C.
As a young man growing up in Fresno, California, Navy Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 1st Class James Williams knew without a doubt he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and serve in the U.S. Navy.
However, he had always felt a call to be a firefighter.
“Anytime I heard the sounds of a fire truck growing up, I would stop everything and want to see where it was going,” says Williams. “Some of my fondest memories growing up were when I visited the Fire stations around my hometown.”
Williams serves aboard Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point as a Hospital Corpsman, overseeing day-to-day operations as patients stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and from communities surrounding the base receive medical care. In his off-duty time, Williams volunteers with the Harlowe Volunteer Fire Department in Craven County, North Carolina.
“My skills as a Hospital Corpsman and as a volunteer firefighter go hand-in-hand,” says Williams. “Responding to real life emergencies in my community helps me be a better medical provider in the Navy at home and abroad.”
Williams’ motivation to serve his nation and community as a Corpsman and Volunteer Firefighter began when he first volunteered in 2004 with the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he was honored as the department’s Probationary member of the year. In 2010, while stationed near Fort Detrick, Maryland, he served as a member of Junior Fire Company in Frederick County, Maryland.
Currently, Williams devotes his time and talents to volunteering with the Harlowe Volunteer Fire Department in Craven County, North Carolina, where he started in 2017.
Williams’ credits his father, the late Clayborne H. Williams Sr., as his role model and inspiration to volunteer. It was his father’s love and interaction with others while serving as a community lay drug and life counselor along with his ability to always find time to help and mentor those in need that continues to motivates Williams.
“I want junior sailors to understand service does not have to stop when you take off the uniform at the end of the day,” says Williams about mentoring and developing junior members of the Navy. “Many communities need motivated, talented people like themselves to help answer emergency calls in their own neighborhoods.