ORLANDO, Florida-- Working as a medical surgical nurse, 1st Lt. Kathryn C. Hammermaster, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, felt the opportunity to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency COVID-19 response to be extraordinary.
“It has been a really incredible opportunity to see the full circle of this pandemic. I started my COVID experience last April when I was quarantined after testing positive,” said Hammermaster.
Back at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center located on Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, Hammermaster saw the damaging results of the virus.
“For the last year I worked on the COVID floor and saw the devastating effects of COVID in a very overwhelming way,” said Hammermaster. “After caring for so many patients, being in a hospital working at max capacity, and having felt the effects of COVID myself, working with FEMA in the COVID response is therapeutic. I love being a part of spreading immunity through the vaccine.”
As one of six children, Hammermaster understands the importance of family and their support.
“All my family grew up together in Washington and I'm still very close with all my siblings and my parents,” said Hammermaster. “They were definitely surprised by my decision to join the Army, and they are incredibly supportive of what I am doing.”
Hammermaster’s desire to serve had always been an aspiration.
“I had always wanted to be in military service...the challenge of leadership opportunities, advanced training, and expanding my knowledge alongside working as a nurse was incredibly appealing to me,” said Hammermaster. “I have always had a strong sense of patriotism and a true appreciation for service members so it has been an honor to be an Army nurse and take care of active duty and retired soldiers.”
Also a dedicated student, Hammermaster wants to incorporate what she has learned in school with her military ambitions.
“I am always looking for new opportunities in the Army that will challenge me and allow me to contribute in a beneficial way,” said Hammermaster. “I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. I am one class away from finishing a Masters in Legal Studies with a focus in Homeland Security… I love learning about politics and the law.”
As Hammermaster looks to the future, she hopes to make a career of the Army.
U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.