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    Army Healthcare Professionals share their call to serve



    Story by Maria Christina Yager 

    Blanchfield Army Community Hospital

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – This summer the U.S. Army seeks to hire 10,000 new Soldiers in 150 full-time and part time career options, including Army Medicine. With a variety of medical specialties available in the Army, healthcare professionals from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and Fort Campbell shared their experiences serving the nation and spoke about careers in the Army.

    “I love serving in the Army because I’m serving a purpose. I work in the hospital so I get to help Soldiers, their families, veterans, so it fulfills that sense of purpose for me being able to help them along their journey,” said Lewisberg, Tennessee, native Sgt. Stephanie Fontenot, a radiology specialist assigned to the hospital’s Department of Radiology who learned her specialty in the Army. Fontenot is responsible for operating X-ray and related equipment used in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases and performs different types of radiography on patients. In addition to her medical training, Fontenot completed her associate degree while serving, using the Army’s tuition assistance program.

    Practical nursing specialist and Fort Fairfield, Maine native Sgt. Brian Andrews, assigned to the Fort Campbell-based 586th Field Hospital, went to New York City in March where his unit set up a temporary hospital to help care for COVID-19 patients. Andrews helped establish the Intensive Care Unit and Intermediate Care Ward at the Javitis Convention Center, where the field hospital helped support the medical mission. He provided medical care for New Yorkers sick with COVID-19. There, Andrews got to know his patients and many were surprised to learn about medical careers in the Army.

    “They thought, the Army is always out in the field, but then they got to realize our medical capabilities and they were very grateful,” said Andrews. “They wanted to know what I was doing in the Army and how I became what I am doing today, so it was good interaction throughout.” Andrew’s duties include performing emergency nursing care, changing and dressing wounds, and assisting in patient care – all skills he learned during 52 weeks of paid advanced individual training in the Army.

    Unlike the private sector where civilians pay out of pocket or take on debt through student loans to complete accredited medical training and licensing, the Army provides no cost job training with pay and benefits to Soldiers who enlist for healthcare specialties. The U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, located in San Antonio, Texas, is the largest medical education and training campus in the world and includes 315 programs of instruction related to medical, dental, and veterinary sciences.

    “Medical laboratory specialists, dental specialists, preventive medicine specialists, operating room specialists, pharmacy specialists and combat medic specialists are among the most needed enlisted medical career fields in the Army currently,” said Puerto Rico native Staff Sgt. Jorge Ortiz, an Army Recruiter based out of San Antonio, Texas, who connects with more than 7,500 followers daily through his Instagram, ssg_ortiz_jorge. “Not all jobs are combat,” said Ortiz.

    BACH pharmacy specialist Sgt. DeMarcus Heath from Monroe, North Carolina, agrees. While Heath enjoys participating in Soldiering skills like marksmanship and field training, he gets a lot of satisfaction from his job supporting Soldiers, retirees and family members at BACH’s pharmacy.

    “People are really surprised that I am a pharmacy specialist in the military. They assume all Soldiers are kicking in doors and deploying every other year. What I like the most is the opportunity to help people who are in need. We serve Soldiers and civilians with all types of illnesses. To provide them with medications that will help make their lives more manageable is very satisfying to me,” said Heath, adding that his eight years of service has also enabled him to achieve a number of personal goals.

    “I am currently a home owner and working on my bachelor’s degree with the help of the Army’s tuition assistance program. The Army has also provided me an opportunity to pursue my goal of doing something different. With my career field, I can be working in a hospital serving Soldiers, retirees and family members or in an Airborne unit responsible for the pharmaceuticals in a deployed unit,” added Heath.

    Army National Hiring Days is an Army-wide virtual campaign showcasing the U.S. Army’s training, benefits and education to inspire individuals to consider military service. The goal is to hire 10,000 new Soldiers between June 30 and July 2, but, the Army accepts new applicants year round.

    To learn more about career, training and education benefits in the Army, visit or speak with a recruiter.



    Date Taken: 07.02.2020
    Date Posted: 07.02.2020 15:11
    Story ID: 373350
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US 
    Hometown: FORT FAIRFIELD, ME, US
    Hometown: LEWISBURG, TN, US
    Hometown: MONROE, NC, US

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