Jacksonville Native Receives Life-Saving Medal



Courtesy Story

Naval Service Training Command

By Officer Candidate Wiktoria Rainha

NEWPORT, R.I. – Officer Candidate Tyler Zutell, an Officer Candidate School student, class 08-21, and a native of Jacksonville, Fla., was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM) by Capt. Mark Hazenberg, commanding officer, Officer Training Command Newport (OTCN), Mar. 17, for his actions that saved the life of a choking student.

“Officer Candidate Zutell’s effective use of prior training and his ‘take-charge’ attitude demonstrated leadership and saved the life of a shipmate,” said Hazenberg.

While eating dinner at the Ney Hall Galley, Zutell noticed a student from the nearby junior indoctrination class choking and struggling to breathe. Without hesitation, he quickly responded and successfully administered the Heimlich maneuver.

The student was treated onsite and was able to rest for the remainder of the day due to no further scheduled activities following dinner. He continued training the next day.

“I knew how to do it, and hesitation was out of the question,” said Zutell. “It all happened right in front of me.”

Zutell’s two weeks of lifeguard training through the Red Cross and 40 hours of combat lifesaver training in the National Guard provided the necessary skillsets to perform the lifesaving procedure. The training reinforced his willingness and ability to respond, he added.

Both of his parents served in the Marine Corps. Growing up in a military family, Zutell had always been interested in a career in the armed forces. After several years as a Human Intelligence Collector in the Florida Army National Guard, he decided to join the Navy as a supply officer.

“[Tyler] has a history of looking out for people and stepping up when needed,” said Pam Zutell, his mother and a prior administrative specialist in the Marine Corps.

The NAM is awarded to members of the armed forces for a specific achievement or for sustained meritorious service.

After gradating OCS, Zutell will report to the Navy’s Supply Corps School.

OTCN morally, mentally and physically develops these future leaders of character and competence – imbuing them with the highest ideals of honor, courage and commitment in order to serve as professional Naval officers worthy of special trust and confidence.

OTCN offers four officer training programs at Naval Station Newport, including Officer Candidate School, Officer Development School, the Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer Academy, and the Naval Science Institute.

For more information about OTCN, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/NSTC/OTCN.

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