View Full Version : 3rd MAW flight surgeons receive accolades

05-28-04, 06:59 AM
3rd MAW flight surgeons receive accolades
Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story Identification #: 2004527162738
Story by Cpl. Paul Leicht

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.(May 27, 2004) -- Two 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing flight surgeons recently won high honors for their outstanding service in helping their fellow Marines and Sailors.

Their superior and advanced abilities and experiences helped them surpass their peers with exceptional accomplishments.

In a formal ceremony held May 4 in Anchorage, Alaska, Navy Lt. Michael Nielsen, fight surgeon, Medium Marine Helicopter Squadron 161, was named the 2003 U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon of the Year and Navy Lt. Ken Moses, flight surgeon, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, was awarded the 2003 U.S. Navy Aeromedical Teamwork award.

"It's an incredible honor to receive the (Lanier "Sonny" Carter Award)," said Moses, a native of Salt Lake City. "I'm very humbled. To receive the 'Sonny' Carter award named after someone as outstanding as him really hits home for me and makes me appreciate the bond I share with the Marines in my squadron even more."

Affectionately known as the "family doc," the U.S. Naval Academy graduate said his close interaction with the squadron at sea on ship helped him practice a variety of medicine and develop a strong sense of teamwork more than anything else.

"I have been in the Marine Corps for over 18 years and have served in five different F/A-18 squadrons from Hawaii to Beaufort, and Doc Moses is the best flight surgeon I have ever observed," said Lt. Col. Robert J. Charette, commanding officer, VMFA-232. "Doc Moses has demonstrated a true concern for the welfare of all our Marines that goes above and beyond what is expected or required."

The Marines of VMFA-232 see Moses for everything, even counseling issues, and he said he has built close relationships.

"They trust me for everything, which helps me build a high standard of quality medical management," said Moses. "It's hard for me to imagine not being around the Marines for the rest of my life. I'm their doc."

Equally humbled with his award, Nielsen spent much of the past year deployed and conducting operational emergency medicine. He also has been an integral part of an advanced program designed to better train Navy corpsmen to successfully manage "golden hour" casualty evacuations in a hostile environment like Iraq.

Nielsen's efforts to help develop the new on-going program for corpsmen to get hands-on field training stood out and earned him the praise of his superiors and the respect of his fellow Marines and Sailors in Iraq.

"In Iraq we participated in many CASEVAC operations, and it's not an easy thing to put an IV in a wounded Marine's body in a moving helicopter," said the Gaithersburg, Md., native. "On board the(USS) Tarawa I mentored more than 70 corpsmen during routine sick call and emergency care, but when we were in Al Taqqadum flying CASEVAC missions we learned valuable lessons on how to deal with wounds and medical issues that you just don't see back here. Stabilizing someone by clearing airways, bandaging knife and gunshot wounds or administering advanced trauma life support are things that corpsmen and myself as a flight surgeon must master in order to save lives on the front line."

Nielsen, who has also practiced trauma medicine in a civilian emergency room at a hospital in Los Angeles and was recently promoted to Marine Aircraft Group 16 flight surgeon, made a lasting impression while serving with the fleet and the Marines of HMM-161.

"Lieutenant Nielsen is a dedicated and multi-talented Naval officer who has contributed and accomplished more in one year than any flight surgeon I have encountered," said Lt. Col. David W. Coffman, commanding officer, HMM-161. "He is exceptionally physically fit with exceptional military bearing and is a very positive role model. His performance is of the highest caliber, so he's very deserving of this award."


Navy Lt. Michael Nielsen (far left) is presented with the 2003 U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon of the Year Award along side Navy Lt. Ken Moses (far right), flight surgeon, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, who was presented with the 2003 U.S. Navy Aeromedical Teamwork Award by Adm. Donald Arthur (left), head of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, and Lt. Col. Michael Hudson (right), executive officer, Marine Aircraft Group 39, in Anchorage, Alaska, May 4. Photo by: Lt. Michael Nielsen