Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Military medical heroes honored for service above and beyond

Image of Four military personnel shown during a Zoom call. Four of the awardees participated remotely during the Angels of the Battlefield Awards ceremony held virtually in Washington, D.C this October. (DoD Courtesy Photo.)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Some awards are meant to be put on a resume; the reasons for those given to real heroes should be seared into the collective memory.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark. Milley recently noted, the service and sacrifice of heroes is “a core strength of our military's resolve and skill."

On October 27, medics, corpsmen, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel were were recognized for putting those fabled strengths into action at the Armed Services YMCA's 14th annual Angels of the Battlefield Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The awards are given for selfless courage and unwavering sacrifice for actions from the past and present. Angels are nominated from each service for saving lives on the front lines overseas or during emergencies at home.

At age 100, the ‘Angel of Honor’ was bestowed on former Army 2nd Lt. Regina Benson, a member of the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, and the country’s oldest military nurse. From 1944 to 1946 she served in Army hospitals in the Pacific Theater, including during the Battle of Okinawa and the post-war occupation of Japan. “I made sure that my patients never died alone,” she remembered, “I was always there with them.”

Air Force Staff Sergeant Nicholas Brunetto, served as a medic with the Army Green Berets team when they were ambushed at close range in February 2020 in Afghanistan. Brunetto not only managed the evacuation of nearly a dozen patients while under attack, but also perform a blood transfusion while under enemy gunfire to save a soldier’s life. Brunetto later said he had not expect being awarded for his service: “A lot of it was just being there and doing a job I had volunteered for.”

Navy Hospital Corpsman First Class William McGrath, was attached to a Fleet Marine Forces team in January 2020 in East Africa, where he served as both as a shooter and as a medic in the face of an enemy attack on an American command center and airfield. McGrath not only saved the life of a wounded team member, but treated multiple injured firefighters and security forces.  “You’re a medic first and a shooter always,” McGrath recalled, “Your jobs really go hand in hand once there is a casualty.”

Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Second Class James Chandler saved a woman’s life during Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 by performing CPR on her for over 30 minutes. An immigrant from England, he came to the U.S. to play pro football, but gained hero status upon becoming a citizen and rescue swimmer in uniform. “Looking back … two things come to mind: Very fortunate that I was able to fly on that case with such a great crew and also just very humbled in regard to how precious life is. … There’s no doubt in my mind that I have the best job in the world.”

Army Sergeant First Class Kyle Wagner, a combat medic on a mission in Afghanistan in June 2013, was just one week into his deployment, when an IED exploded10 feet from him. Injured and unable to hear, he organized the medical evacuation while searching for casualties, pulled other soldiers to safety and started triage. “We will do whatever it takes to save our guys … because we care; that’s what we’re here for.”

The identity of a Navy Seal based in California remains confidential, due to the sensitive nature of his current deployment. He was recognized for tending to more than 200 patients during an overseas mission from 2019 to 2020. “I wish I could share how appreciative I am in person,” he wrote to those attending the ceremony, “However, I am currently deployed.”

You also may be interested in...

Final Days in Afghanistan: Lab Techs Stepped Up to Support Withdrawal

Article
6/30/2022
Final Days in Afghanistan Lab Techs Stepped Up to Support Withdrawal

“Prior to the attack, teams were preparing to leave the area. Suddenly, everything changed, and our main goal shifted from COVID-19 support to blood supply and triage.”

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

How Drones Will Transform Battlefield Medicine – and Save Lives

Article
6/23/2022
Drones carrying fresh blood products to wounded troops on the front lines may be critical for military medicine in a conflict against a "near-peer" adversary.

Emerging technology may use drones to deliver blood products for wounded troops on the front lines of combat. That capability may be critical in a "near-peer" conflict.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

How Military Medicine Is Preparing for the Next Conflict

Article
6/8/2022
As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations.

As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations. That’s especially true for the medics supporting troops on the front lines.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Care Technology

Army Doctor Earns Top Honors at Air Assault School at Fort Campbell

Article
6/3/2022
Army Doctor Earns Top Honors at Air Assault School at Fort Campbell

This Army doctor finished at the top of his class at the Air Assault School at Fort Campbell. It's a 10-day course that is both physically and academically challenging, teaching soldiers the foundations of heliborne operations to include troop transportation, sling loaded cargo and equipment transportation, medical and casualty evacuation operations, and air assault operations.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

How COVID-19 Made the Military Medical Community Stronger

Article
3/21/2022
Image of a service member being treated

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has made the military medical community stronger and will help when confronting the next crisis, whether that’s another pandemic, a new conflict or natural disaster

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Top Military Health Leaders Discuss Future Readiness

Article
3/8/2022
An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, prepares to transport U.S. Army medical personnel to Guam in support of the global COVID-19 response on April 13, 2020.

Top military health leaders highlight the importance of preparing for the future to ensure both a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DOD launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" for HS students

Article
9/2/2021
High school students at a conference in Orlando, Florida

DOD's National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" designed for Grades 9-12, with Red Cross, Homeland Security.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

New Flag and Patch Symbolize Growth at the Defense Health Agency

Article
8/19/2021
Service members from the Army, Air Force and Navy display the new Defense Health Agency patch following a reflagging and repatching ceremony at Defense Health Agency Headquarters in Falls Church.

The DHA will reveal a new flag and seal in a ceremony August 20 to signify the unity of all services under one joint combat support agency.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Combat Support

New Stop the Bleed course designed specifically for HS students

Article
7/7/2021
A medical care training exercise

New First Aid for Severe Trauma Training Can Help High School Students ‘Stop the Bleed’

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Medical Advances Since Gulf War Boil Down to Increased Lives Saved

Article
6/25/2021
Medical personnel training on how to treat a neck wound

Not all medical advances since the first Gulf War are highly technical.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Research and Innovation | Health Innovation Toolkit

DHA Spearheads Effort for Working Dog Research Collaboration

Article
6/25/2021
Picture of three different dogs

Working Dog Forum explored research to keep dogs in top form.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Veterinary Service | Public Health | Research and Innovation

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Article
5/27/2021
Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger

The Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR, for remote military medical professionals.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Combat Support | Health Readiness

Drawing blood, giving back life: techs support medical readiness

Article
2/22/2021
Military health personnel wearing a mask drawing blood from military personnel wearing a mask

Two of the military’s blood technicians say their work is vital and rewarding.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Combat Support

Order of Military Medical Merit presented to USU medical student

Article
2/19/2021
Military personnel receiving the Order of Military Merit

Army 2nd becomes the first USU medical student to receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Barksdale AFB trains medics with Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
12/30/2020
Military personnel participating in training exercise, treat a dummy for injuries

Medics of the 2nd Medical Group are becoming a whole lot more lethal, in a good way.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Readiness Capabilities
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: November 04, 2020

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.