Petty Officer Carson’s service is unique in that he has been a member of three of the nation’s four military services – the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. When he graduated high school he joined the Marine Corps and spent eight years as a heavy equipment operator before leaving the military to pursue a career in healthcare. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he rejoined the military – this time as a medic in the Army National Guard. In 2005, after learning more about the opportunities available to Navy Corpsmen, he made the decision to transfer to the Navy Reserve. Outside of his military service, Petty Officer Carson is active in his community where he volunteers with Autism Speaks and coaches a youth soccer team.
How have you benefited from your service in the Navy Reserve?
The Navy has allowed me to pursue my passion in the medical field. I have worked in emergency medicine for over 25 years, which supports my role as a corpsman in the Navy and vice versa. This led me to become a mentor and teacher to young corpsman coming into the Navy today. It also gives me a sense of fulfillment and pride knowing that I am a Navy Corpsmen and have impacted many lives in a positive way throughout my Navy career. As an older sailor, my career spans over 30 years and three different organizations (Marine Corps, Navy, and Army). Whether I am teaching a tactical combat casualty course or basic corpsman skills, I always walk away feeling like I have made a difference – that is what it is about.
Why did you choose to join the Navy Reserve?
After I completed eight years of active duty as a Marine, I joined the Fire Rescue Department. After 9/11, I realized I wasn’t ready to leave my military experience behind, so I re-enlisted into the Army National Guard as a medic. After my return from deployment in Afghanistan with the Army I realized that to really do what I wanted to do as a medic, I needed to be in the Navy; the Navy afforded me the greatest opportunity. Thus far, I have been able to travel across the country working with and teaching junior corpsmen the Tactical Combat Casualty course – essential skills if they are deployed. The Reserve also allowed me to make friends and contacts throughout the Navy and across the country.
In my Navy…
I have seen the force grow and shrink with the times. Despite this, the Sailors of today are just the same as I first remember them, only younger. Today’s Reserve Sailors still need to be guided, led, and reminded of the course that has been set before them. This course will be followed by others long after they are gone. But this realization will only happen if they are given the knowledge and imparted the heritage of what they are now a part of – I can only hope that as my career draws to an end; I will be a small part of this legacy. Finally, the Navy core values, along with my faith, have helped set my moral compass and guided my passion toward serving my country, community and family.