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NEWS | Dec. 10, 2019

New NCO successfully manages the challenges of work, school and service

By Courtesy Story 865th Combat Support Hospital

The Army Non-commissioned Officer Corps gained another leader when Sgt. Dana Valenia, a 68C, Licensed Practical Nurse, was promoted in front of family and fellow 865th Combat Support Hospital Soldiers, Dec. 8, 2019.


Valenia, a resident of Freeland, Pa., started her Army Reserve career early, joining right out of high school at 17, saying, “I did not want to leave home for a long period of time, I could not see myself leaving my family.”


“I liked the simplicity of the commitment where I traveled away for school but returned home afterwards. Although not 100 percent accurate, my recruiter explained it as, you only have to go 2 days a month and 2 weeks in the summer,” Valenia said.


Scoring well on her ASVAB, Valenia had numerous career choices available, “Choosing nursing was the right choice for me with it being my area of interest and it would transfer well to civilian career as well,” she said.


“Being in a CSH brings lots of exciting challenges, there are a wide range of roles a 68C can take part in within a combat support hospital. I am NCOIC to intermediate care ward which receives patients to continue medical care, send back to quarters, or send to a higher level of care,” Valenia said.


Not uncommon in the Army Reserve medical field, Valenia’s civilian and military careers overlap, “I work as a license practical nurse, but am also enrolled in a registered nursing program. My weekly school schedule consists of classroom time, laboratory time, and clinical hands on time; plus studying,” said Valenia. Adding, “Combining my G.I. Bill and money from my contract the Army makes school debt-free.”


Like many Army Reserve Soldiers, Valenia successfully manages the challenges of work, school and service. “It’s a challenge at times, but manageable. I concentrate on high priority needs first, my education, the needs of my Soldiers, and organization. It also helps to know I have the support of my platoon.”


I love being in the 865th, the success we have doesn’t happen by accident or individually, “There is a great cohesiveness of Soldiers and everyone is willing to step up and do what needs to be done. The success of our detachment is the great people I work with. We are all motivated and with most of us coming from a medical background we understand teamwork is essential to getting the mission done.”