Story by Ensign Samuel Stoffels, NMCB-25 Public Affairs Officer
HARVARD, Ill. – September is suicide prevention month and as commands across the Navy conduct various events and discussions to raise awareness, one Sailor assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25 took the ultimate step in actually preventing a local citizen from taking his own life.
Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Cody Noren, a reservist with NMCB 25, is the type of guy that takes off his Seabee uniform and then puts on a different uniform for his day job. Noren is a police officer with the Harvard Illinois Police Department who was awarded a Medal of Valor from the city’s mayor Aug. 27 for his actions taken to save a life back in June.
While on patrol in the Harvard Neighborhood June 13, Noren and his partner got a call around midnight about a suicidal man who was threatening to jump off a bridge. Noren claims he was faced with a difficult situation upon arrival that required on-the-spot decision making which would ultimately impact an individual’s life.
Once on scene, he and his partner quickly started a conversation with the agitated man to help put him more at ease. Just as they felt they were gaining control of the situation, the man jumped off the bridge and disappeared. Both officers ran over to him and grabbed an arm and a leg before the man fell off the bridge.
The man survived because of the quick thinking and prompt actions taken by Noren and his partner. After pulling up back up, the officers took the man into the station to get the appropriate help.
Although this heroic action took place during his time in his civilian job, Noren directly attributes his military training and experiences in his Navy uniform to being able to handle the situation the way he did.
“The training I received in the Navy has consistently put me in positions of pressure and that has been able to translate seamlessly into a skill set in the civilian sector,” Noren said.
Noren is one of many Seabees who translate their military skills into a successful civilian equivalent. This type of correlation and cross-training is beneficial to the Sailors’ civilian employers, but is just as beneficial to the Navy Reserve units where they are able to jump into their in-rate work with invaluable hands-on experience and knowledge.