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Chief Hospital Corpsman Julie Jorgensen.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Julie Jorgensen recently returned to her parent command, Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB), Wash., as a newly-pinned chief, with her individual augmentee (IA) assignment to Kandahar Air Field (KAF), Afghanistan behind her."[When I arrived in Afghanistan,] I was expecting an administrative/leadership position, similar to my [2007] Kuwait deployment," she said. "But, I was told I would be seeing patients in sick-call and helping transfer critically wounded casualties from the flight-line to our trauma bay in ROLE 3 [Multinational Medical Unit]; transporting patients outside medical treatment facilities and for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) flights to Germany."

The main role of the originally Canadian-led Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit [NATO forces trauma center] - also known as an R3 or a MIMU - is to provide clinical care to multinational, NATO and joint-forces troops requiring urgent care such as injuries from intense combat or from mine or improvised explosive device (IED) blasts.

Jorgensen, who was still a hospital corpsman 1st class at the time, quickly became a shift-supervisor and then was selected to be part of the trauma department.

While overseeing the functions of what triage wards do, Jorgensen said, "A 'normal' day for us was to expect any number of [trauma] cases flown in from all over Southern Afghanistan. As a trauma team member, I helped [receive] and treat a lot critically wounded combat casualties that were mostly from IED and mine blasts and gunshot wounds."

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This, she added, was despite several incoming rocket attacks she experienced.

"The only prior training I had was attending Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), which is great if you're a medic 'outside the wire' or even a flight medic," she said. "I have been a Biomedical Photography technician for 11 of my 14 years as a hospital corpsman. I really didn't have any preparation for this except for all the years of studying for advancement exams and watching the action happen during fleet hospital exercises."

Regardless of a seemingly incongruous background for her assignment, Jorgensen met mission requirements, continued her professional development, and was ultimatley selected for advancement as a chief petty officer. Her indoctrination group was comprised of a full spectrum of warfighters from both the Army and the Navy as well from our allies in ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom. "Our induction committee-members were Navy SEALs, as were half of our selectees.

"Surprisingly there were even a lot of Army personnel who understand the chief petty officer induction process and there were also a lot of retired Navy working here as government contractors who helped to explain it to the other nation's representatives," said Jorgensen.

All of Jorgensen's experience, especially her enthusiastic volunteering and execution of her duties during her IA, show her love for the Navy and what it embodies.

"I joined Feb. 14, 1993. I had wanted to join the military since I was a freshman in high school, but I couldn't decide on what branch until my brother beat me to it. My dad, four of my uncles and my brothers were all boiler technicians. So I guess it was sort of a family tradition, although I'm the only one who made the Navy a career."

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Story by MC2 (SCW) Brian Coverley, and Douglas Stutz
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Title Annotation:IA 360 [degrees]
Author:Coverley, Brian
Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2010
Words:570
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