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Hospital Happenings

News | July 13, 2023

AMEDD Recruiters visit Johnson inform, inspire, assist Soldiers, Sailors, civilians

By Jean Graves, Medical Readiness Command, West

 United States Army Medical Recruiting Station from Shreveport, Louisiana conducted an Army Medical Department commissioning brief and information session July 13 in the education center at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson.

According to, Army healthcare careers offer challenging work with fewer barriers and limitations to treating patients. It also provides Soldiers with a deep sense of satisfaction performing an important service to the country.

Staff Sgt. Carmen Palmer, AMEDD recruiter, said the purpose of the event was to spread the word to civilians, Soldiers and officers about the professional medical opportunities and positions available through a variety of medical commissioning programs.

“AMEDD has positions for nearly every healthcare or science-related medical occupation,” she said. “We also have a variety of scholarship opportunities.”

Palmer said the medical specialties most needed by the Army is continually changing, and her office is the best place to start when seeking out information.

Sgt. First Class Austin Policky, AMEDD recruiter, said serving with a purpose is important to Soldiers.

“Joining the Army Medicine team comes with many opportunities and incentives,” he said. “You’ll be inspired, challenged, and able to continue to develop and grow personally and professionally while doing the job you love and serving Soldiers, their families and military retirees.”

Crystal Absher, registered nurse with Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital’s emergency department said she is applying for the Army Nurse Corps Emergency Room Nurse (66T) direct commissioning program.

“I have a passion for emergency medicine and have always had a desire to join the Army,” she said. “I am nearing the completion of my Master's in Nursing Administration and believe the military will provide invaluable leadership experience to enhance my education.”

Absher, a military spouse, chose the Army over other branches of the service to facilitate duty assignments for her and her spouse under the Army Married Couples Program.

“As spouses it is very easy to follow our significant others and find comfort in them and their career,” she said. “Something my husband encouraged early in our marriage was for me to set a goal for myself at every duty station. I started as a certified nursing assistant and received my Associate of Science in nursing while stationed in North Carolina.”

Absher said she worked full time while earning her Bachelor of Science in nursing while living in Maryland.

“As a traveling nurse in Washington State I learned adaptability and flexibility,” she said. “Here in Louisiana, I joined the federal system while working towards my Master of Science in nursing administration.”

Absher, the mother of two said it’s been a long process.

“It took time, but I am proud of where I am today and could not have done it without the support from my husband and the military,” she said. “Our next adventure will be one we share as a dual military family, a goal I’ve wanted since I began nursing school.”

Absher is currently filling in as the clinical nurse in charge of BJACH’s emergency department while her supervisor is on paternity leave.

“I am appreciative of this program as it takes my experience and education into consideration, allowing me to continue my professional growth,” she said. “As the acting CNOIC I am reassured this is the right path for me. One day I do hope to be a fulltime ER CNOIC and the direct commissioning program is the first step down that path.”

Pfc. Xavier Lewis, optical laboratory specialist at BJACH attended the briefing and said he was interested in the optometry program.

“I feel like an AMEDD commissioning path will give me more options and opportunities to explore in my career,” he said. “Becoming a medical provider in the military will give me more opportunities down the road as a civilian practitioner as well.”

Lewis, a Florida native, said he has a long road ahead and is already exploring programs to meet the educational prerequisites required.

Policky said there are a lot of opportunities.

“It is not necessary to be a current medical professional to apply, but at a minimum, interested individuals will need an undergraduate degree,” he said. “With more than 60 areas of concentration, each have different qualifications. Soldiers and civilians can apply by reaching out to me or one of my AMEDD recruiting colleagues. We will review the eligibility requirements with each applicant to ensure they are qualified before proceeding with the application.”

Policky said he and Palmer are available by email or phone and are happy to assist all who are interested AMEDD commissioning opportunities.

Palmer said they were well received at Fort Johnson.

"We had 20 interested individuals stop in and talk to us today about the great opportunities available through the various AMEDD commissioning programs," she said. "This was a great turnout and illustrates the excellent caliber of Soldiers stationed at the Joint Readiness Training Center."

Editor’s Note: U.S. Army Shreveport medical recruiters can be reached via email at or and a full list of AMEDD careers and programs can be found at
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