By Lisa Simunaci
U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
Preston Crider, an operating room nurse, is lending his much-needed skills to the military.
“I always wanted to be part of the military,” Crider said. “But I went to school to be a nurse. When I saw the recruiter outside the operating room one day, it was a message to me from the man upstairs.”Crider, who works full-time at Trinity Medical Center here, took the oath of office March 5 and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
The 27-year-old Crider, who lives in Hoover, a Birmingham suburb, has worked at Trinity Medical Center for two-and-a-half years.
Crider is filling a critical need for the Army, said Capt. Rena Barron of the Birmingham Medical Recruiting Station.
“Nurses are an important part of our healthcare team.” Barron said. “Finding qualified, specialty nurses is vital to the U.S. Army mission.”
In exchange for his military commitment, Crider will receive a $60,000 bonus paid in installments over three years. He’s slated to start his military training soon.
“I’m a little nervous, but I am really looking forward to it,” Crider said. He will be assigned to the 75th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Gillem, Ga., where he will attend monthly battle assemblies.
Crider said his decision to join the Army Reserve was well received by his family, friends and co-workers.
“Everyone has been very supportive,” he said. “My co-workers are really excited for me; they think it’s a wonderful idea. Many wish they would have taken advantage of it when they were younger.”
Barron said the Army continues to recruit operating room nurses like Crider, as well as other people in the medical field, such as emergency room and critical care specialists, psychiatric nurses, and nurse anesthetists.
“Soldiers and their families deserve the best healthcare,” she said. “We are always looking for talented and dedicated individuals to become a part of this elite team.”