Posts in Personal Questions
What is your strongest motivation when you feel like you can’t give anymore? (especially in training)

I take a look around me, at all the people who are not complaining and getting the job done, which makes me stop focusing on myself and focus on them. Also, I think about the future patients I am going to have and if I have done everything I can to be prepared to save them.

Read More
In a typical day, can you please list out an example of what you would eat as a PJ? I.e.: breakfast , snack, lunch, snack, dinner, protein shakes etc.

I would always have some trail mix bag with me and of course a drink with electrolytes. I would eat about 6 eggs in an omelet in the morning, then snack, then lunch, and that was a big plate of salad and whatever other stuff was at the chow hall. Then a snack, then protein shake after a workout, then dinner which was chicken or steak with lots more vegetables. Lastly, a protein shake before bed and repeat.

Read More
What qualities, if any, did you see in candidates that just screamed “future PJ”? Was it physicality or their ability to lead others?

I have absolutely seen guys who I thought would make it and did. The traits that I always see in guys who make it are, first that they are all about the team and put in all their efforts to help out with whatever they can. Second, they are always in shape and physical studs because if you can get through the smoke sessions with no problem then you can take care of your guys. Lastly, the biggest thing I see from guys is when they are able to stay calm and cool when we tell the team to start doing pool work in which they might pass out. This shows that they are 100% committed to accomplishing the mission no matter what it takes, they have burned the boats.

Read More
What was the hardest thing you did in the pipeline?

Indoc was really draining physically, and watching people I got to know really well quit was hard. Sadly it was such a huge accomplishment also. People who were way physically stronger than myself quit. Mentally the most difficult part of the pipeline after Indoc was Paramedic, it was like drinking from a fire hose, but also rewarding because medicine is the foundation of a PJ and I knew I would be learning how to make people survive otherwise unsurvivable wounds.

Read More
How did you get through the different types of injuries that you saw? I keep wondering if I can handle the different types of injuries that I would come across.

I always would think of the injuries as a more mechanical issue than just a person screaming and in pain. In the moment you need to do what you have to do in order to save the person’s life. So you have to put aside feelings for that time in order to get things done. After you finish the moment, you will need to speak with someone and make sure you don't let that experience seep in too deep and create a problem. At the end of the day, you just gotta make it happen.

Read More
I understand that there is a high risk for PTSD given the intensity and the exposure to trauma that the job demands. I was wondering if this was a factor for you when deciding to serve?

I have heard of some people getting it in the military, but to be honest, I never thought about it affecting me at all. I was ready to do whatever it took to bring someone home and expose myself to those types of things because I knew the mission was about setting aside my own fears in order to bring someone back to their families.

Read More
How do you deal with self doubt and failure?

It is good to be afraid to fail, it means you care and it will make you push yourself further because of it. When I get the feeling that I might not be extremely confident at something, I never allow myself to not do it, because that sets a mental precedent where you will allow yourself to quit spontaneously. It sounds too simple but sometimes you just need to put one foot in front of the other and get the job done even if it is not perfect.

Read More
I am looking to become a PA after a career as as a PJ and was wondering what your experience was like and what steps you took to become a PA while in the Air Force?

It's a long application process. You can look the Interservice Physician Assistant Program online and see the requirements. I would say that unless you currently have a scholarship or are in some other way uniquely invested in your current schooling, I would recommend joining now, then doing more schooling on the military's tuition program. I think what helped me get into PA school was the experience I had in conjunction with the fact that I earned all my credits while being deployed and was successful in both aspects.

Read More
Regarding the transition from being a PJ to medical school or to becoming a PA, are the skills transferable and is the experience attractive to schools?

The experience is absolutely attractive to schools. I am currently in a top 10 school for PAs and I believe that is one of the biggest reasons I was accepted. Schools know you will never quit or fail if you have had that mentality instilled in you from experiences in Special Operations, not to mention the opportunities and experiences I have had as a PJ really set me apart from other candidates.

Read More