Michael Stearns MD Awarded the Navy Achievement Medal

Michael Stearns MD Awarded the Navy Achievement Medal

Dr. Michael Stearns was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for serving as the pediatric neurologist at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, during the Desert Storm conflict in Iraq in 1990.  Dr. Stearns was serving as an staff neurologist and director of the neurophysiology laboratory at this command. He was asked to cover the pediatric neurology services for the board certified pediatric neurologist.  She had been deployed on the U.S.S. Comfort, a hospital ship that was deployed to the Persian Gulf.  During a nine month period, Dr. Stearns, in addition to his other responsibilities as an adult neurologist and head of the Electrophysiology Department, cared for inpatients on the pediatric ward, the pediatric ICU, the neonatal intensive care unit, and in the pediatric neurology clinic as the sole provider of pediatric neurology specialty care at the National Naval Medical Center.  He was supported by board certified pediatric neurologists via primarily remote communications at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. For his efforts he was recognized by the Navy and awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.  Dr. Stearns was decorated by the Surgeon General of the Navy during an awards ceremony.

The text of his award (image below) reads:

“The Secretary of the Navy takes great pleasure in presenting the NAVY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL to Michael Q. Stearns, Lieutenant Commander, Medical Corps, United States Naval Reserve.  “For professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties as a Staff Neurologist and Head, Electroencephalography Laboratory, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, from August 1990 to June 1991.  Lieutenant Commander Stearns served, without the benefit of the usual specialized training, as the Pediatric Neurology Consultant for this command during the deployment of the regular staff pediatric consultant.  He worked long hours to provide this service, earning high praise from patients, staff, and the board certified consultants at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  He accomplished this in addition to exceptional performance as the head of the Electroencephalography Department, where he increased productivity and instituted new diagnostic procedures.  Lieutenant Commander Stearns total dedication, professionalism, and tireless efforts reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” 

About the Navy Achievement Medal:

On 19 August 1994, the Secretary of the Navy changed the name of the award to Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Eligibility Requirements. Awarded to members of the Armed Forces, including members of Reserve components on active or inactive duty, of the grade of lieutenant commander/major and junior thereto, for service performed on or after 1 May 1961. The award shall be given for meritorious service or achievement in a combat or non-combat situation based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature, and shall be of such merit as to warrant more tangible recognition than is possible by a fitness report or performance evaluation, but which does not warrant a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal or higher.

Professional achievement that merit the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NA) must:

(a) Clearly exceed that which is normally required or expected, considering the individual’s grade or rate, training, and experience; and

(b) Be an important contribution of benefit to the United States and the Naval Service.


Navy Achievement Medal

NAM Certificate

Award Certificate

NAM Letter

Award Letter


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