The U.S. Army may be an "Army of One" among the ranks, but it has yielded two distinctions for Col. Jeanette Divine. The School of Nursing graduate became the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) state surgeon last January. She is the first registered nurse ever appointed to the position and the first female to serve as state surgeon in Texas.
"When I first joined the Army, nurses were not allowed to command. Now Army nurses compete for command positions in all components of the Army," Col. Divine said. "Selection of a nurse as a state surgeon demonstrates to ARNG nurses across the nation that the most qualified individual can be given the chance to serve in the highest Army Medical Department officer position in each state. I feel I have opened the doors, and hopefully minds, to the talents of Nurse Corps officers."
As state surgeon, Col. Divine serves as a special staff officer to the adjutant general on all medical readiness issues and establishes state medical policies and programs promoting medical readiness. She also serves as a liaison and is responsible for credentialing and privileging all medical professionals in the TXARNG.
Col. Divine joined the Army in June 1972 as part of the Army Student Nurse Program. She received her MSN from the Health Science Center in August 1982.
"My MSN studies at the Health Science Center taught me to research thoroughly, write concisely and always consider the ‘big picture’ when making decisions,"
Col. Divine said. "I feel my master’s degree gave me the foundation I needed to achieve my goals in the ARNG."
Col. Divine will retire in June 2003. She said she hopes her achievements will encourage other female officers and enlisted soldiers to set high goals and achieve the highest level possible in their careers.
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