NEWS | Jan. 28, 2021

Profiles in Professionalism: HMC Robert McQueen 

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks

Profiles in Professionalism: HMC Robert McQueen graphic
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | 210128-N-IC246-0001 Profiles in Professionalism: HMC Robert McQueen graphic

Helping others has been a mantra guiding Chief Hospital Corpsman Robert McQueen in both his civilian and military careers. When McQueen joined the Navy in 2003, he didn’t know what specific role he wanted to play in the military — he just knew he wanted to make a difference.  

“I wanted to be a part of something larger than myself and make a positive impact,” said McQueen. “When I went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), the detailer told me about being a corpsman and what they do. It lined up perfectly with what I was looking for.”  

Later in his career during a deployment to Iraq, McQueen developed a deep and abiding interest in the mental health field. 

“Seeing some of the issues [service members] experienced on that deployment helped push me toward mental health,” said McQueen, who, as a young corpsman, didn’t yet have the specialized training required to address mental health issues. “At the time, I wished I could do more than just refer them to someone else. I wanted to be the one to help.”  

Returning stateside, McQueen earned his master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Southern California and soon became a psychiatric technician at a post-traumatic stress disorder residential treatment facility. McQueen said his dual civilian and military roles have equipped him with valuable tools and experience. 

“I can bring skills from my civilian career to my military career and from my military career to my civilian career,” he said. 

Those skills paid immediate dividends during his next mobilization.  

“I got deployed to Cuba in a psychology technician role and was able to provide the same type of care that I provide during my civilian job,” he said. 

 While challenging, McQueen says his career has also been deeply rewarding.  

“My least favorite part of my civilian job is seeing some of the things that lead people to get to the point where they have to see us,” he said. “But my favorite part is being able to be there for people and provide support to help them get out of that point.”  

Whether in the medical field or as a chief at Navy Operational Support Center San Diego, McQueen has focused both his technical and leadership expertise on helping others in achieving their personal and professional goals.   

A key part of McQueen’s guidance to other Sailors is to focus on the future — advice he’s following. 

“I want to finish my clinical hours and become an independent clinical social worker,” he said. “I would like to be a civilian working for the Navy or commission as an officer working for the Navy as a clinical social worker.”