Face of Defense: Reserve Hospital Corpsman Serves to Help Others


Navy Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlotta Howard, a hospital corpsman assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve’s 24th Dental Company employed her expertise as a dental technician to assist Air Force dentists with procedures and the handling of dental equipment during Tropic Care Maui County 2018 held in Lanai City, Hawaii, Aug. 11-19.

A Navy dental technician and an Air Force dentist work on a child's teeth.
Navy Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlotta Howard, a hospital corpsman assigned to the 24th Dental Company, works as a dental technician during Tropic Care Maui County 2018 in Lanai City, Hawaii. Aug. 18, 2018. Tropic Care Maui County 2018 provided medical service members and support personnel with "hands-on" readiness training to prepare for future deployments while providing direct and lasting benefits to the people of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Washington Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman
A Navy dental technician and an Air Force dentist work on a child's teeth.
Tropic Care
Navy Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlotta Howard, a hospital corpsman assigned to the 24th Dental Company, works as a dental technician during Tropic Care Maui County 2018 in Lanai City, Hawaii. Aug. 18, 2018. Tropic Care Maui County 2018 provided medical service members and support personnel with "hands-on" readiness training to prepare for future deployments while providing direct and lasting benefits to the people of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Washington Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman

The health care clinic provided dental, optometry, medical, public health and pharmaceutical services at no cost to community members as part of the U.S. military’s Innovative Readiness Training program.

Howard said that she knew she wanted to be in the medical field ever since she was young.

‘I Like to Help People’

“I like to help people,” she said. “It was always interesting to me. I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Howard said she thought about joining the military when she was in college.

“To be honest with you, it was either the Air Force or the Navy. And at the time, I didn’t know anybody who was in the Air Force,” she said. “My brother was a chief in the Navy. So one day, I was sitting in my classroom in college, and I needed a kickstart because I was bored. I just hit my brother up and said I think I’m ready to join the Navy. I was in the Navy in like a week.”

With her brother’s help, Howard joined the Navy Reserve. She enlisted as a hospital corpsman, and has been serving for about eight years.

Civilian Work

In her civilian career, Howard works at a pediatrics doctor’s office, where she gives shots, performs electrocardiogram tests, finger sticks, chest X-rays and whatever else comes her way.

In the future, Howard wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and to work at the Atlanta Children’s Hospital.

During her free time when she is not at studying, attending class or working, Howard likes to travel and explore new places. She recently explored New York City. She also enjoys seeing her friends and eating out at different restaurants.