Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
Marital status: single with a toddler son
Unit: Medical Department Activity
Place of duty: Orthopedic Clinic, Kenner Army Health Clinic
Military Occupational Specialty: 68B – orthopedics specialist. According to the Army’s MOS website, www.goarmy.com, Soldiers working in this specialty assist with all kinds of patient care at an orthopedic clinic where patients are treated for pain and injuries to bones, joints, and muscles. They prep patients for surgery, monitor their care afterwards and even assist orthopedic surgeons with procedures in the operating room.
Time in service: two and a half years
Background: Workman worked his way through preliminary competitions to earn a spot in the 2022 Department of the Army Best Squad Competition, a weeklong showcase event testing the abilities of five-Soldier teams – through events deemed necessary to survive in combat – to work together as a disciplined and cohesive unit. It took place at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Washington, D.C. Workman said it was an enriching event that improved his skills: “I really enjoyed the opportunities,” he said. “I took advantage of it and gave it my all.”
Reason for joining the Army: “I came in two years after I graduated from high school. Initially, I worked part time in construction and the tree service. I didn’t want to do that, so I started working full time. It’s expensive in California. I started thinking about the Army. It was something I always wanted to do, so, I decided to join.”
Reason for choosing to work as an orthopedic specialist: “When I initially went in, I wanted to be an 11B (infantryman), but I scored very high on the ASVAB (high scores provide more options). It was my recruiter who managed to convince me to take this job. It set me up very well because it’s a job that allows me take college classes.”
What your day-to-day duties entail: “Our main job is to apply casts and splints to patients who have suffered some sort of injury such as a bone fracture. We are also capable of putting screws in and pulling pins out and putting in sutures. Here, we have a lot of trainees and care for a lot of injuries suffered in basic training.”
Best thing about this job: “When it comes to the military, the hours can be unpredictable, but with this job, we have scheduled hours. We open at 6 a.m. and we close at 4 p.m. That’s every day and we don’t work weekends. I have a son, so the schedule makes it easy to take care of him.”
How the Army helps to support your family: “There is much love (for the unit leadership). We’re not a very big unit, so we’re relatively close. My first sergeant and commander know what's going on with just about every Soldier in the unit. Also, my NCOIC (his supervisor) always has a plan to cover down when someone has an emergency.”
Best thing about the Army: “The opportunities. I got to go through the air assault course. It was suggested to me and occurred in my first year here. Within months, I was jumping out of a helicopter. I’m a medical professional, and it doesn’t necessarily apply to me. It is a skill I have, one of so many you learn in the military, especially in the area leadership. No matter who you are or what you do in the military, if you’re in long enough you’re going to have to lead, and the Army teaches you to be a good leader.”
Immediate goals: “There is a term we use called ‘triple stacked.’ (Army slang for Soldiers who have earned at least three badges worn on uniforms). I’ve made a goal to become triple stacked before my first enlistment is complete.”
Future plans: “Reenlistment is an option. The Army is always going to be here if I want to stick with it. If I chose to get out today, I could secure a job as a civilian orthopedic technician and make like $50,000 in a hospital somewhere. That always good to know, that I’m already certified to work in the field.”
-- compiled by T. Anthony Bell