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NEWS | June 27, 2023

CSTX To PA: An Army Reserve combat medic's journey

By Exercise News Day Sgt. Michael Ito

Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 91-23-01 simulates the sustainment of operations in a Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) environment, and the training the Soldiers receive here will enhance the lethality and survivability of participating units and prepare them to assume real-world missions.

One of the Soldiers participating in the training here is Spc. Danielle Soberanis, a combat medic assigned to the 144th Minimal Care Detachment, 349th Field Hospital. She is not only performing duties as a combat medic here, but she is also busy chasing her career goals in the medical field.

When not wearing the Army uniform, she is a full-time kinesiology student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant (PA). The certification is not easy to get and generally requires an undergraduate degree in specific concentrations and healthcare
field experience.

While working to get those requirements completed, she found a great way to get the required hands-on experience that may seem unconventional to many.

“I was talking with a recruiter, and he told me that the Army has a PA school,” said Spc. Soberanis. “So I can get trained in the Army Reserve as a medic, and then go to PA school.”

Soberanis didn’t know what to expect when she joined the Army Reserve.

“I didn’t know if I would just be doing my [military occupational specialty] all the time, or what to expect,” she said. “But when we have drill weekends, we constantly work on sustainment training and basic Soldier skills. That way, you’re fresh on your skills as a medic and Soldier.”

Spc. Soberanis recommends the Army Reserve to anyone who wants a flexible way to get more training. She says being a Reserve Soldier has provided many skills and opportunities she didn’t have before, while allowing her flexible options for her future.

Her career choice has also provided her a way to stay connected to her family. Attending school in Pomona, Calif., allows her to remain close to her family home in San Diego.

“I’m really busy with school and work, and my whole family is in San Diego,” she said. “So I actually got to pick a unit down there and I spend most of my free time visiting.”

“The Army Reserve has taught me the different options I have,” she said. “Before I joined, I thought career options were very linear. But now getting all this training, just shows me that there’s so many different routes I can take to reach my goals.”