9th Mission Support Command physical therapist selected for Iron Majors award

By Rodney Crum | 9th Mission Support Command | July 31, 2020

FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii —

Maj. Molly Vaughan, a physical therapist from the 1984th United States Army Hospital – Pacific, has been selected for attendance to the 2020 AMEDD Iron Majors Week.

“Maj. Vaughan has distinguished herself as a genuine and endearing Army leader through her limitless tenacity and devotion to her Soldiers, career, and family,” said Col. Paz Nuanez, the 1984th Hospital Commander.

The Iron Major award identifies Army Medical Department Soldiers in the rank of major or captain promotable that demonstrate outstanding leadership and medical skills, the ability to mentor subordinates, and the potential to shape future change and initiatives associated with Army medicine.

"I became a physical therapist for the Army because I wanted to take care of our Soldiers,” Vaughan said. “As a military medical provider, we are here to support them. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with, mentor, and lead so many amazing individuals.”

The five-day leader development course exposes the selectees to a variety of interagency activities and discussions with subject-matter experts and senior leaders. The course will also help build the experience and knowledge needed to address future complex issues within Army medicine and the Department of Defense.

“Molly really stands out in relation to her peers and does more than what is expected at critical times. She is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether that be in a professional or personal capacity,” said Nuanez.

Vaughan began her military career after her husband died in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. It was her decision to continue her husband’s selfless service by providing care to Soldiers.

She received a direct commission from the U.S. Army-Baylor Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in 2009. Her first duty-assignment was in 2013 where she served as a staff physical therapist. This assignment took place at the Soldier’s in Training Physical Therapy Clinic at Fort Sam Houston where she provided neuro-musculoskeletal care for over 1500 AIT soldiers.

In 2014, she was assigned as the Brigade Physical Therapist to 1-25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Vaughan’s expertise led to the creation of the Arctic Wolves PRT Program in which she trained over 300 NCO’s in FM 7-22 in strategies to optimize Soldier performance and reduce musculoskeletal injuries.

“I have been blessed in my career to have leaders that I look up to and try to emulate. It is my hope that I can be that leader to others. I am humbled to be chosen and have the opportunity to work with Senior Leaders and have a voice in guiding the future of Army medicine,” said Vaughan.

In 2016, Vaughan left active duty to join the 1984th U.S. Army Hospital- Pacific, Detachment 2 in Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

In January 2019, Vaughan was unanimously selected by the hospital leadership to command Detachment 2. As commander, she is resolute in her ability to maintain over 70 medical personnel in a constant state of mission readiness and has implemented training that is innovative and has kept her Soldiers engaged and motivated.