A Jewish Army Captain’s Perspective on the Army
I am a Captain in the United States Army Reserve, currently serving with the 945th Forward Surgical Team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am a 66F, which is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
In my civilian job I work for Laser Spine Institute doing anesthesia in their Tampa Ambulatory Surgery Center for minimally invasive spine procedures. Previously, I worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, a Level 2 adult and pediatric trauma center.
I started my Ramah experience as a camper in Camp Ramah in New England. I worked as kitchen staff there as well as a counselor in the Tikvah edah for special needs children and young adults. I have accompanied my wife to Ramah Darom where I helped out in the infirmary as well as assisting with other things that needed to get done (luggage, cutting the grass, etc). I also helped out at Ramah Outdoor Adventure serving as a nurse.
Our three kids are all Ramah Darom kids. Our eldest, Melissa worked on the waterfront staff at Ramah Palmer and staffed Poland-Israel Seminar. Becca was a counselor at Darom, and Zach, our youngest, planned to work at Darom, but was obligated to begin basic cadet training at the US Air Force Academy this summer when he accepted an appointment as a cadet.
There are also Jewish clergy (Rabbis) serving in the armed forces and although they may not be co-located with you efforts are made to allow service members to get to religious services conducted by those clergy. The extent to which the Army will accommodate service members was evident during my first deployment to Afghanistan which coincided with the Jewish High Holy Days. The army was willing to transport service members from their assigned bases, via fixed wing or rotary (helicopters), to Bagram Air Base where the Jewish clergy were conducting Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services.
I am a VERY proud American and Jew. I am honored to serve our country and take care of the war fighters, providing anesthesia and critical care near the front lines to better their chances to return to their families after fighting for our American values.