Finding her ardour: Rachel Lewis forgoes fashion school to pursue medical career in US Army –

Eight years in the past, Rachel Lewis' appeared destined for sequins, sketchbooks and stitching machines.

A senior at Chaparral Excessive School in Phelan, Lewis had been accepted into the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and was on monitor to graduate early. The Victorville resident's future was all mapped out and ready for her.

After which all of it modified.

"I come from a navy household and my dad sat me down and had a chat with me about probably serving and doing my half earlier than I went off to school," Lewis mentioned. "It is one thing that I took to coronary heart and determined to pursue."

Eight years later, Lewis' thought of excessive-finish fashion is a clear pair of military fatigues and her future plans have swapped out runways for working rooms.

The primary feminine senior line medic for an infantry firm in the -506th regiment, Lewis is a sergeant serving as a sophisticated trauma specialist — often known as a fight medic — in the U.S. Army and is wrapping up a deployment in Africa.

"I am in cost of all remedy in my camp, ensuring we now have all the mandatory medical provides and ensuring remedies are up to requirements," Lewis informed the the Every day Press throughout a telephone interview. "I am in cost of 5 medics right here and we serve about 200 troopers."

Lewis mentioned she'd all the time had an curiosity in the medical discipline, and her time in the navy has allowed that curiosity to develop right into a career.

After spending six years in the U.S. Army Reserves, which included a deployment to Kuwait from 2012-13 the place she labored in the emergency room treating minor to extreme accidents and volunteered at Scott & White Medical Heart whereas stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, Lewis determined to go energetic responsibility and was assigned to the infantry regiment shortly after the U.S. Army licensed females to fight roles in December 2015.

At the moment stationed at Contingency Location Garoua in Cameroon, Lewis is working with a small process power made up of troopers from the -506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, together with members of the Cameroonian Air Drive.

"I reported to Fort Campbell in 2016 and my unit simply occurred to be tasked with the African mission," Lewis mentioned. "Right here in Africa I've much more alternative to work with the native medical group and likewise I am in a position to work slightly extra intently with my troopers right here than in Kuwait."

Whereas her unique medical purpose was to turn out to be a physician, Lewis mentioned her time working alongside a "actually good" doctor assistant for the previous two years has opened her eyes to how a lot she values getting to work intently with sufferers.

With April 29 marking eight years of service, Lewis is prepared to return stateside and decide up the place she left off, with only a few minor changes.

"I used to be accepted into the biology program at Austin Peay (State College) in Tennessee," Lewis mentioned. "So after I come again I will enroll there. I've 77 items accomplished, I would like about 44 to end my biology diploma after which I will apply for PA school."

It is a far cry from the 16-year-outdated headed to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising eight years earlier, however Lewis mentioned her time in the Army helped her uncover her true passions and pursuits.

"I would not change any of it," Lewis mentioned. "I have been to seven international locations on the Army's dime, achieved issues I've by no means been in a position to do and gotten to serve my nation. Having the ability to give again and know that I am a part of the % (who serve) is an excellent factor. It is modified my life."

Kevin Trudgeon could also be reached at 760-955-5358 or

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Finding her ardour: Rachel Lewis forgoes fashion school to pursue medical career in US Army -