When you join the Commissioned Corps, you become a part of a dedicated team of professionals who work to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the Nation.
Meet a scientist officer from the Commissioned Corps.
Captain George Jones
Scientist Officer, Office of Public Health and Science
A career in uniform…
CAPT George Jones was born into a military family and has continued the uniformed services tradition in his own diverse career. “As I get older, I feel a bit like everyone’s grandfather. I take that kind of care in the work that I do,” he says. He was on active and inactive duty with the U.S. Navy until he transferred to the Commissioned Corps in 1990. In his current position, CAPT Jones is the director of the Office of Military Liaison and Veterans Affairs in the Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CAPT Jones works as an HHS liaison between the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs in the areas of military and veterans’ health to provide care for those who have borne the battle. “My work positively impacts all current and past service members and their families. I feel a close bond to young people who serve and defend the Nation. They are indeed the clear and rightful heirs of World War II’s greatest generation,” he says.
Commander Douglas Allen Thoroughman
Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Taking emergency preparedness to a new level.
CDR Douglas Allen Thoroughman's job in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps puts him at the forefront of public health preparedness efforts, helping to build Kentucky's capacity to respond to public health emergencies like disease outbreaks. CDR Thoroughman has coordinated Kentucky's smallpox preparedness and vaccination program, consulted on numerous disease outbreak investigations, and advanced the field of epidemiology. He also has provided emergency response, conducting disease surveillance in Texas shelter evacuees for both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. "A career in the Commissioned Corps provides many opportunities to serve our country in a positive and meaningful way," CDR Thoroughman says.
Captain Pamela Ching
Scientist Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Making a difference around the world.
In August 2005, CAPT Pamela Ching was a part of a team conducting the first comprehensive nutrition and health survey in the Republic of Niger, greatly affected by chronic food shortages. Survey results assessed risk and malnutrition levels, vaccination coverage, communicable and water-borne diseases, health status, and hunger in children and pregnant and lactating women. CAPT Ching says, "People are more alike than different in their desire to do what is best for families and children. Most people are honest and willing to work very hard to bring vital health services to their countries." As senior staff epidemiologist and director of research at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, she has designed and evaluated public health programs in 18 countries, and worked with research scientists and epidemiologists associated with WHO, UNICEF, USAID, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), and the World Food Programme. CAPT Ching says, "I have had the opportunity to work with public health professionals abroad and interacted with foreign cultures and people in a meaningful way—a way I would not have been able to if I had visited their countries as a tourist."
Commander Stacey A. Williams
Scientist Officer, Department of Defense
Caring for families.
As the first U.S. Public Health Service pediatric health psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, CDR Stacey A. Williams provides psychotherapy, behavior management, and neuropsychological assessments to more than 600 children of service men and women each year. But her work doesn't stop with her young patients. "The whole family system is impacted," says CDR Williams about her work at Walter Reed. "The Corps stands between American citizens and natural and cultural disaster. The Corps is a vital component to our survival." In just over 3 years, CDR Williams has already been deployed to Maryland, West Virginia, South Dakota, Florida, and Louisiana, where she worked with the families of the New Orleans police officers affected by the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Commander Michael Murry
Scientist Officer, Bureau of Prisons
Helping inmates recover from drug addiction.
A drug abuse program coordinator at Federal Correction Institution, Beckley, in Beaver, West Virginia, CAPT Michael Murry supervises drug abuse treatment programs treating nearly 1,000 inmates a year. The prison culture presents interesting and unexpected challenges for psychologists. Having previously worked in private practice, CAPT Murry says, "The great opportunity in public service is to focus my full attention to delivering and improving professional services." He also manages a community outreach program offering crime and drug abuse prevention services to local schools and youth groups, having served more than 5,000 youth.
Captain Kevin McGuinness
Scientist Officer, Health Resources and Services Administration
Ready for anything.
CAPT McGuinness gets up in the morning knowing his job is meaningful. He provides primary mental health services to underserved individuals along the U.S.-Mexican border. The Commissioned Corps is a significant and influential part of the global health community. CAPT McGuinness feels passionately about his work in the Corps, "I can think of no other job where I can serve Americans and world citizens in times of peace and war. As a member of a large organization, I can be assigned to a small community clinic, deployed to one of the armed forces, serve as the leader of a highly trained national and international disaster mental health team, publish articles to support and advance the fields of disaster mental health and health diplomacy, and advance the health of the community where one lives and the greatest Nation in the world." His career has provided him with fascinating experiences, unimaginable opportunities, professional relationships and friends. He looks forward to tomorrow and has no idea what lies ahead.
If you are a science student or a scientist interested in the Commissioned Corps, take the next step! E-mail us your questions, call us at 800-279-1605, or apply online now.