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NEWS | March 23, 2021

From Marine Corps logistics officer to Army Reserve critical care nurse serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight; a life of dedicated service

By 1st Lt. Grace Harrison and Maj. Sherrain Reber 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

From a United States Naval Academy graduate to a Marine Corps Logistics Officer in Iraq, to now serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Critical Care Nurse for the United States Army Reserve, Capt. Tineisha Nagle has made a life dedicated to serving her country.

In middle school, Nagle knew she was destined to serve in the military.

“There is a camaraderie within the military that you just don’t get with civilian or federal careers. I knew the military would be a life-long career for me, and the Reserve affords you the opportunity to hold both a military and civilian career – I love that.”

In 2005, she graduated from the United States Naval Academy and entered into the U.S. Marine Corps where she served as a Logistics Officer for twelve and a half years on both Active Duty and in the Reserve. Now, Nagle is finishing her first year as a Critical Care Nurse for the Army Reserve.

“I became interested in the healthcare side of the military during my deployments to Iraq as a Marine Corps Lieutenant and took the necessary steps to become a Registered Nurse,” Nagle said. “I felt that the Army would provide the most unique and expansive opportunities for RNs, so I decided to recommission into the Army Reserve.”

After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, Nagle went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University San Marcos, and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama Birmingham.

After only one year in the Army Reserve, Nagle was mobilized under the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) as a member of the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF) 328-1; a new construct designed specifically to provide support to the ongoing COVID-19 military medical relief effort. The task force is now a part of the broad response efforts being led by U.S. Army North at the request of FEMA.

In preparing for the mission, Nagle stated that she had read a news article where the 807th MC(DS) Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Joe Heck, said, “This is a totally different mission than has ever existed before…” These words struck her as she was still relatively new to the Army and still learning about the history of the Nurse Corps. Nagle said, “I can appreciate that there is something very special about the UAMTF mission and I am very honored to be a part of it at this stage of my career.”

During her mobilization, Nagle worked within a designated COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit providing support to medical staff at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Yuma, Arizona.

When talking about her experience at YRMC, Nagle said, “It has been a quick turn-around on learning the daily protocols of the Intensive Care Unit, without the traditional weeks of orientation before being integrated as part of the staff.” Under normal circumstances, the integration into the local medical staff would take weeks. These days, time is a luxury that no one can afford as staff are over stretched and worn down with long hours and patients continue needing critical care. Nagle has had some familiarity with working in a COVID environment prior to the mobilization, but this was the first time she worked directly at a patient’s bedside for a complete shift. “I was familiar with what PPE and special precautions needed to be taken, and felt comfortable going into this mission with that knowledge,” said Nagle.

As an Army Reserve Healthcare Professional, Nagle's role is to support the front-line [warfighting] service members who defend our nation at home and abroad. On this mission she was in a new role, in the trenches alongside her civilian healthcare counterparts, to serve the American People, right here, in her own backyard. “Reserve Healthcare Professionals from all communities have been asked to augment medical staffs currently stressed beyond capacity,” said Nagle. “On any deployment there is an inherent mission of winning the hearts and minds of the local population and I feel that this especially applies to missions dedicated to directly serving the American people.”

Nagle observed that every provider in the Reserve is experienced in their respective field, so the transition wasn't terribly stressful. “Especially for service members who train for stressful situations," said Nagle. A mobilization unlike any in her career, Nagle managed the stress by taking advantage of the down time between shifts to focus on self-care and connecting daily with her husband and family. “I’m married to an Active Duty Service Member; I have his full support and understanding,” said Nagle.

To serve on this mission, Nagle departed from her position as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Fellow with the Acute Care Surgery department at Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial Health, Roanoke, Virginia early. Her home unit is the 7458th MORU, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the Whole-of-America COVID-19 response.