In May of 2013 Jodie McIntosh was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps. She recently agreed to provide some feedback on her first four months as a drilling reservist.
When asked about her initial draw to the Navy Reserves, the Sykesville, MD resident indicated that she was seeking greater challenges both personally and professionally. “Last time I felt this way, I went to grad school (Masters in Nursing Education from Towson). This time I thought the military might be the best place to seek those opportunities.” she said.
As a reservist, LT McIntosh works one weekend a month at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Baltimore and is required to participate in at least two weeks of training each year.
During her first few drill weekends she has assisted in performing annual health assessments on fellow reservists, as well as completing some General Military Training requirements. She also recently took part in a community service project at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, in Washington, DC.
While these expereiences have been good, LT McIntosh went on to say that she is really looking forward to other opportunities, as well. She is scheduled for two weeks of Direct Commission Officers Indoctrination Course (DCOIC) in January which will be held in Newport, RI, and she plans to attend the Navy Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI) in Camp Pendleton, CA in June of next year. DCOIC will provide the basic training on how to successully work as an Officer in the Navy Reserves. The NEMTI course is focused on providing medical care in austere environments.
Beyond that she is further excited about the pending transition of the local unit from an Operational Health Support Unit to an Expeditionary Medical Facility. This will mean a shift in focus for the entire crew assigned to the NOSC in Baltimore. Instead of supporting shore based installations such as Walter Reed in Bethesda and the local reserve center, the unit will focus their training on skills needed to deploy as unit to provide medical treatment around the world should the need arise.
Throughout this process, LT McIntosh has had complete support from both her family and her employers. “From the moment I filled out the paperwork about the Navy Reserves, my husband was constantly asking if I had heard anything back yet” she said, “He’s been nothing but supportive the entire way.”
Working as both an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Carroll County Community College, and part time in the Cardiac Surgery Unit at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson, MD, meant that she needed to have the endorsement of two bosses during her application process.
According to LT McIntosh, both her Program Director and her Nurse Manger have been “extremely supportive” throughout the process and remain so today. When asked if she had any advice for other nurses interested in opportunities in the Navy Reserve, she simply stated….”Do it!”.