JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Cadet Loise Aleria spent part of her summer by the waters of American Lake, Sequalitchewe Lake, Soldiers Field House Pool and Fort Lewis Water Park here.
But instead of swimming, she was looking for insects, more specifically mosquitoes, and preferably females.
But that was only part of his mission.
Aleria, an ROTC Army cadet at Furman University in Greenville, SC, was immersed in a three-week internship program at the Army Department of Medicine that included food inspection at the police station, surgery veterinary dental, examining bacteria, observing special forces soldiers and learning the duties of the military on active duty.
Aleria is senior, specializing in politics and international affairs.
The Pacific Public Health Command detachment at JBLM hosted Aleria for her internship with the aim of providing the opportunity to experience a variety of specialties within medical logistics and preventive medicine, according to Major Seo Yatsushiro, chief of environmental health and engineering.
“I wanted to offer our future leaders the possibility of deciding whether a position or [area of concentration] would be a good choice before commissioning, ”said Yatsushiro.
Because Aleria has expressed interest in medical logistics and preventive medicine, she has been exposed to officers in various fields, covering all aspects of the missions and objectives of the Army Medical Department, and PHC-P JBLM was ready.
Aleria’s mentors focused their program on the “One Health” concept, a way of seeing and recognizing the link between human, animal and environmental health. Aleria was greeted with a plan that detailed the concept of operations and included a full schedule, which allowed her to make the most of her time.
“Shift. Yatsushiro planned my internship so that I could experience AMEDD [U.S. Army Medical Department] across multiple scopes, ”said Aleria.
“I was able to follow officers and soldiers with different medical specialties,” she said. “I met soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group Medical Detachment and participated in water and insect sampling with the Environmental Health Department at Madigan Army Medical Center.”
Aleria’s three-week stay was filled with various assignments which included learning air quality testing machines; waste and biological risk management; food safety; mosquito life cycles; assess vector-borne diseases; and working in a veterinary care facility.
Aleria, a self-proclaimed “army kid,” said it was just one more phase in a decades-long progression.
“The military has been a big part of my life growing up,” Aleria said. “Because of the influence she has had on my life, it was only fitting to join this organization.”
Her father, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Peter Aleria, is assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade in Vilseck, Germany.
The internship not only gave Aleria a broader understanding of the daily life of soldiers in the medical field, but in the process, the military empowered a more complete future leader.
The internship program brings more benefits than just teaching regulations and training, Yatsuhiro said.
“It involves teaching, mentoring and providing hands-on experience. Having an intern can enhance and multiply leadership in the military,” he added.