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

Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

Image of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Maxwell (Left) and U.S. Capt. Brian Ahern, medical personnel assigned to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recovery team, check the pulse of a local villager during excavation operations in the Houaphan province, Laos, Feb. 5, 2019. U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Maxwell (Left) and U.S. Capt. Brian Ahern, medical personnel assigned to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recovery team, check the pulse of a local villager during excavation operations in the Houaphan province, Laos, Feb. 5, 2019.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength

Army Master Sgt. Mathew Maxwell never planned to join a military medical career field.

Born in the United States, but raised in Canada, Maxwell started out in military intelligence with the Idaho Army National Guard. Before he deployed to Iraq in 2004, he took a Combat Life Saver course.

Several months later, he was out with his platoon when his unit was struck by a vehicle-borne improvised explosion device.

"I had to treat a seriously wounded patient as a CLS. I was the only one in the platoon that had the skills and abilities to help," he recalled. "I entered a bombed out building and treated and moved two patients that were on the roof… I was able to use the training I had and help them both."

"That's when I knew I wanted to do more in the medical field. This is the experience that convinced me to re-class and become a medic," Maxwell said.

Today, Maxwell is the senior enlisted advisor for the DHA Chief Nursing Officer at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. And last summer, he received his Bachelor in Health Care Administration from Purdue University.

His experience treating wounded soldiers for the first time changed the direction of his career. He later reclassified as a "68 Whiskey" – the Army's occupational specialty for combat medics.

To get underway with his new career track, the Army sent him to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. As a prior service trainee, he received Advanced Individual Training as a Combat Medic, and was assigned to a deploying unit immediately after graduation.

"I was in Afghanistan six weeks after graduation and working in a battalion aid station," he recalled.

Maxwell then earned his Basic Life Saver instructor certification. After several years, the Army assigned him to be a Tactical Combat Casualty Care instructor, where he taught combat medic skills to other soldiers who were already in the "68 Whiskey" career field and preparing to deploy.

As the Military Health System observes this year's Nurses Week, Maxwell noted that the military medical community defines the nursing community very broadly to include medical professionals beyond just those who have received a registered nursing degree.

"When we say nursing, we are talking about a very broad scope of positions and responsibilities," he said. "Of course, we mean all of the commissioned officers, enlisted LPNs, GS civilians and contractors that work in our hospitals in the nursing positions."

"We also mean the nursing teams that support the care of patients, both in and out of a hospital," he added. "We put a lot onto our service members. We ask them to be the best nurse, medic, or corpsman they can be, and then give them additional duties outside of their medical ones."

"I know most of the Army medics, Air Force techs, and Navy corpsmen don't often think of themselves as nurses, but we are working to change how the force views them," he said.

"We want everyone to know that when we refer to Military Health System nursing, it is the entire care team that is responsible for patient care.

"Whether you are on a ship as an independent duty corpsman, or a medic on the line, you are part of the nursing team, and we want to recognize your contribution to the MHS and nursing."

You also may be interested in...

Beating the Stigma: Workhorse Battalion and H2F Team Up to Improve Physical Readiness

Article Around MHS
6/24/2022
Military personnel bench pressing

To help counter that stigma of being "broken", the 10th Division Sustainment Troops Battalion “Workhorse,” 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, and the brigade’s Holistic Health and Fitness team, also known as H2F, joined forces to create the Unbreakable Warrior program, also known as UBW.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Physical Fitness

Army, Navy Public Health Officials Collect Weapon System-related Health Hazard Data in Support of Blast Overpressure Exposure Assessment

Article Around MHS
6/21/2022
Military personnel by M777 Howitzer

A team of scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center recently traveled to Fort Carson to conduct a Joint Service Member Occupational Health Assessment, also known as a JSOHA, of the M777 Howitzer—a weapon that is routinely used in military training and combat operations.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

LRMC CNS Fuels Progression in Military Medicine

Article Around MHS
6/17/2022
military personnel in neonatal care class

Army Maj. Rebeccah Dindinger serves as a Clinical Nurse Specialists at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Women's Health

Medical Readiness Training Exercise strengthens local partnerships and skills

Article Around MHS
6/13/2022
Military personnel working together during a global health engagement

As part of the U.S. Southern Command’s enduring partnership to Central America, Joint Task Force-Bravo executed a three-day Global Health Engagement in Comayagua, Honduras, June 1-3, working side by side with local military and Ministry of Health personnel.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Expectant Moms Have Group Option for Prenatal Care

Article Around MHS
6/10/2022
Midwife helps expectant military mom during pregnancy

The San Antonio Market offers a group obstetric model for pregnant women at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Women's Health

DGMC Trains Medics on TCCC, Boost Readiness for Next Battle

Article Around MHS
6/9/2022
Military medical personnel in classroom

Medics at David Grant USAF Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, California, are being trained monthly during a week-long course on tactical combat casualty care in an Air Force-wide initiative to standardize medical readiness training for all service members.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

Medical Readiness Key to Lead-Wing Deployment

Article Around MHS
6/2/2022
2rd OMRS medical insignia patch

Air Combat Command has tasked the 23rd Wing to be Lead-Wing ready in October of 2022 and medically preparing Airmen for a Lead-Wing deployment is no small feat.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

Air Force Surgeon General eyes modernizing capabilities for joint commanders (Part 2)

Article Around MHS
5/27/2022
Military medical personnel at Patrick AFB

Since assuming his role of Air Force Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Robert Miller has worked to advance the Air Force Medical Service’s capabilities, ensuring it is ready for an evolving joint fight.

Recommended Content:

Medical Logistics | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness

39 MDG beta tests AFMS first blended TCCC and Medic-X curriculum

Article Around MHS
5/20/2022
Military medical personnel performing safety exercise

The Air Force Medical Service tasked the 39th Medical Group to test the service’s first blended curriculum, enhancing the readiness and skills of medical personnel, Soldiers, and NATO allies at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, April 20-24, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Expeditionary Medical Integration Course: Unified in keeping Marines in the fight

Article Around MHS
5/12/2022
Military personnel in medical training

I Marine Expeditionary Force's Expeditionary Operations Training Group on Camp Pendleton developed the Expeditionary Medical Integration Course to prepare Marines and line corpsmen for future deployments.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Army Public Health Nurse offers thank you to nurses across Army: Reminder of where we came from

Article Around MHS
5/9/2022
Military personnel on infographic

U.S. Army Public Health Center thanks all Army Public Health Nurses for the hard work and dedication you show to the communities you serve every day. 

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength

Navy Hospital Ship Departs for Pacific Partnership 2022

Article Around MHS
5/9/2022
Navy Hospital Ship Departs

Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) departed San Diego, May 3, marking the beginning of Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22).

Recommended Content:

Readiness Capabilities | Health Readiness

Niger, U.S. doctors treat 550 patients in Ouallam

Article Around MHS
4/15/2022
Military training

 Nigerien and U.S. doctors alongside U.S. joint service medical specialists established a temporary field clinic to provide medical treatment to citizens of Ouallam and the surrounding areas as a part of a medical civic action program (MEDCAP) in Ouallam, Niger, March 16, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Expeditionary Medical Force Brings Optimal Readiness in Pacific Region

Article Around MHS
10/18/2021
A male soldier talks about a chart to to a female sailor.

The 121st Field Hospital of the 549th Hospital Center recently introduced an innovative way to increase medical Soldiers’ proficiency and competency by enhancing access to the field hospital equipment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik Air Base

Article Around MHS
9/30/2021
Air Force Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion element chief (right), and Air Force Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion technician (left), promote making healthy choices at the Sultan’s Inn Dining Facility on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 27, 2022

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.