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College program leads Jeanette Brogan to U.S. Air Force career

FPS staff report

Jeanette BroganCarroll County native Jeanette Brogan is making an impact as a member of the United States Air Force.

Brogan, a 1999 graduate of Carrollton High School, joined the ROTC while she was a student at Cedarville University.  While at Cedarville working on her bachelor’s degree in Nursing, she was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Detachment 643 at Wright State University.

Upon graduation from Cedarville University, Brogan was commissioned May 9, 2003, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  Brogan participated in a 28-day field-training program between her sophomore and junior years in college.  The field-training program is similar to boot camp but a shorter length of time due to being in the ROTC program.  Participants in the field-training program knew military basics such as how to march and wear their uniform.

She entered in a Nurse Transition Program and spent three months at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.  The program, similar to an internship, was designed to help people transition into military life. 

Brogan moved to Mississippi and spent two years working in labor and delivery at the 89th Medical Group (medical center) at Keesler Air Force Base.   The base is located in Biloxi, MS, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Hurricane Katrina arrived and Brogan was transferred to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.  She spent four years as a perinatal nurse for the 79th Medical Group.

While labor and delivery was her primary focus, she completed two temporary assignments to the 79th Aeromedical Staging Facility during her time in Maryland.  During these tours, she was a Charge Registered Nurse (RN) leading recovery and launch of Aeromedical evacuation missions.

“When military personnel are injured overseas, they are transported to Germany and then flown to the 79th Aeromedical Staging Facility in Maryland,” explained Brogan.  “When participating in Aeromedical Evacuation  (AE) missions, I went on the bus to meet the patients and help transport them to our medical facility.”

While working with the Aeromedical Staging Facility, Brogan served as a key liaison with the AE crew and coordinated patient clinical requirements.

“We kept patients overnight,” Brogan stated.  “They were then transported to their assigned medical center.”

On the move again, she headed south to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where she worked as a nurse manager in labor and delivery for the 96th Medical Group’s Maternal/Child Inpatient Flight.  She supervised around 33 employees, both active military personnel and civilians.  During her two years at Eglin, the flight commander was deployed and for approximately seven months, she served as the interim flight commander along with performing her regular duties. Her efforts led to recognition from the Medical Group’s leadership team.

Each squadron nominates an outstanding officer for recognition each quarter.  Brogan was named the 96th Medical Group’s Company Grade Officer of the Quarter as well as the Air Base Wing’s Company Grade Officer of the Quarter and then was eligible for recognition as the 2011 Medical Group’s Company Grade Officer of the Year.

In 2012, Brogan was competitively selected to further her education through an Air Force Institute of Technology sponsored graduate program.  She is pursuing her master’s degree in Nursing at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus.  She plans to become a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, which would not only allow her to work on the floor in labor and delivery but also perform clinical duties in the education, research and administrative fields. 

“I could have the chance to work on training platforms for employees or patient education,” said Brogan.  “I could also have the opportunity to assist hospital administration keep current on regulations.”

She will graduate May 2014 and is committed to serve an additional four years in the Air Force after graduation. She will serve at an Air Force Medical Group.

 “I really enjoyed serving at the southern bases,” she said.  “The people in the area were so friendly and there was a laid back attitude.”

She has also made a lot of friends through her travels.

‘Looking back I wouldn’t have chosen to go or even wanted to go to some of the bases I have served at,” Brogan explained.  “But it was in Gods’ hands and his direction.”

An amazing example of this, she said, was while stationed in Maryland.  She discovered her college roommate lived just 40 minutes from her.  During the time there, her roommate gave birth to her first child and Brogan was able to share the experience with her.

Brogan encourages youth to consider the military as an option to help pay for college or as a career.

“Joining the military gives you the chance to serve your country,” she stated, “ And the educational opportunities are great.  I like it. If you have an open attitude, it’s a fun adventure.  I really have a cool career.”

Brogan is the daughter of Charles and Margret Brogan of Kilgore and resides in Urbana, IL.

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