Staff Sergeant Jon Andrews is a Special Forces Medical Sergeant who didn’t realize his calling to medicine until after 9/11, when he left Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s graduate school to join the Army Special Forces. After earning his Green Beret, Jon was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group and deployed to Iraq.
While deployed, Jon participated in a wide range of combat and humanitarian operations. He was also responsible for the routine and emergency medical care of his teammates, Iraqi soldiers and civilians. There, he discovered his passion for medicine and upon leaving active duty, he enlisted in the Army National Guard’s Special Forces so that he could continue to serve the Special Forces Regiment, and at the same time, pursue a second bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and apply to medical school.
At UCF, Jon gained the science background necessary for success in medical school and beyond and met his future fiancé, a biology student, too. After conducting medical school interviews via phone and over the internet while deployed to Afghanistan, Jon was accepted at Duke University – one of the top medical schools in the country. He looks forward to the career of lifetime learning that is medicine, and he credits his military service, his former cadre, as well as, his teammates for putting him in the position to attend medical school at Duke. In addition, he’ll also continue his military service by remaining a physician in the Army National Guard after medical school, where he anticipates providing medical care to both soldiers and indigenous populations for many years to come.