DVIDS – News – One day a civilian, the next a naval commander

Navy medical officer recruiters primarily focus their attention on young graduates seeking greater financial stability in the private sector. These new physicians seek to be inspired or inspire others and seek to make a global impact through their skills. The Navy can serve these dreamers with deployments to exotic locations traveling on ships like the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) or caring for Sailors and Marines and their families.

There are also those peculiar doctors known as “unicorns”, for recruiters as they are rare and hard to find. They are doctors who have spent their lives perfecting their profession and still want to bring their skills to the military.

Dr Joseph D. Ciacci, MD, is such a “unicorn” that Navy Medicine is delighted to welcome.

Certified neurosurgeon and UC San Diego School of Medicine (UCSD) professor in the Department of Surgery, Ciacci educates medical students, residents, and fellows in the school’s neurosurgery residency program. He specializes in Neurologic Oncology of the Spine and Brain, while working at a Level 1 Trauma Center, UCSD Medical Center and Jacobs Medical Center at UCSD Health, and is also involved in the care of our Veterans. as head of neurosurgery in the Veterans Administration. (VA) San Diego Health System in La Jolla, California.

“The Navy is recruiting highly trained medical professionals who will use their essential skills to provide high quality medical care to service members, their families and, when called upon, humanity at large,” said the Navy. Lieutenant Cmdr. All Brenes, Southwestern Senior Medical Recruiter for the Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG). “However, Navy recruiters are looking for a few top sub-specialties, such as general surgery, intensive care, orthopedic surgery and of course neurosurgery.”

Recruiting is not innate to many Sailors, which is why all recruiters begin their careers with the Navy Recruiting Guidance Unit located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Recruiters rely on many things in their lives to accomplish the mission, but sometimes it can be who you know that could be the critical factor in finding a Sailor to meet Navy requirements.

“Lt. Thomas Britt, physician recruiter in Los Angeles (Los Angeles, NTAG Pacific) contacted me regarding a neurosurgeon who is over the age of 54 and who wanted to join and serve,” said Lt. Jude Rosario, MSC, NTAG Southwest, Talent Acquisition Manager at Naval Officer Recruiting Station Lake Forest, Calif. “Apparently Dr. Ciacci contacted LA first because he didn’t know which recruiting district he was in and Britt considered contacting me as we had been friends since the start of our careers.”

“Beyond Dr Ciacci being a well-established physician, I first wanted to know why he wanted to put on the uniform, especially because he was so accomplished and educated, essentially ‘the godfather of neurosurgery.’ “said Rosario. “When he told me he was currently working at the San Diego VA looking after veterans and wanted to continue caring for the military on a larger scale, as well as training future surgeons to be leaders, I knew he was the kind of leader I wanted to bring into the navy.

Besides being able to see the world, the Navy offers a variety of incentives for medical professionals, such as enrollment bonuses, loan repayments, GI Bill for members or their dependents, home loans VA, annual bonuses based on a specific specialty, among others. . But it was none of those incentives that prompted Ciacci to add the Navy to his career. Being from New York, he felt the need to serve because of the events of September 11, 2001.

“It hit me like it hit everyone. I mean, it’s been 20 years, but it’s like it was yesterday, ”Ciacci said. “It touched so many people and I think of all the heroes who rushed to the Towers to try to save people and give their lives. All the families that have been affected.

“I feel like I don’t want to forget and that no one can forget it,” Ciacci said. “I think my commitment to serve is to honor the families of all who have passed before and to ensure that we continue to remember and hopefully inspire this service mentality and this hero mentality in terms of rushing into danger to save others. “

For Ciacci, being named a naval officer on the anniversary of 9/11 honors the heroes who risked their lives that day and every day for the past 20 years. With the in-service date set, he wanted a place to make as much sense as the date, so the mention of the USS Midway museum flight deck seemed to fit perfectly.

Deputy Commander, Navy Recruiting Command / Deputy Commander, Naval Education and Training Command Force Development Rear Adm. Robert Nowakowski heard of Dr. Ciacci’s upcoming commissioning ceremony to become Commander of the Navy (O-5) in the Marine Reserve Medical Corps and wanted to volunteer his time to administer the oath of office.

“I knew this would be a great opportunity to promote the Naval Reserve medic programs,” Nowakowski said. “I found out that he was also a graduate of Northwestern University, and I thought ‘Small World’ and I knew we would have a lot to say.”

After 13 months of paperwork and collecting all the necessary documents, a white shirt became one with epaulettes and he was given a new hat with an officer crest to proudly cover his head. Dr. Ciacci assumed the new title of Cmdr. Joseph Caicci, MD, Navy Reserve Medical Corps and assigned to Navy Reserve Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego.

“As a recruiter of Navy medical officers, I hope that Dr. Ciacci can and will provide us with a bridge to allow us to communicate with his peers about the needs of the Navy,” said Rosario. “It would be great to have his help recruiting general surgeons and orthopedic surgeons to serve in the reserve alongside him.”

Regardless of the number of people Cmdr. Ciacci helps recruiting or helps in the operating room, 9/11 and those who ran into danger are in his heart and in his head.

“It’s sort of a 20 year story for all of us who have been touched by it. I don’t really know anyone who hasn’t been affected, ”Ciacci said. “It started with the attack on the Twin Towers, then the Pentagon. In 20 years, so many brave men, women and civilians have made this ultimate sacrifice in trying to save others and keep people safe. These last 13 soldiers who were lost at the airport in Kabul (Afghanistan). The Marines, a soldier, a member of the Marine Corps were really there to do the same thing, which is to save people from danger. They took the job and made the ultimate sacrifice. We absolutely cannot not forget it. I hope I can devote my service to their memories and their families.

Renamed in December 2020, NTAG Southwest covers 210,000 square miles covering Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. Based at Naval Base Point Loma, NTAG Southwest has three Talent Acquisition Integration Centers (TAOC Fleet City, TAOC Surf City and TAOC Paradise City) operating 43 Navy recruiting stations and Officer recruiting stations. navy in the tri-state area and employs more than 300 recruiters. , support staff and civilians.

For more information on NTAG Southwest, visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/NRD-SanDiego or https://www.cnrc.navy.mil/pages-nrd/sandiego/default.html. You can also follow the order on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ntagsw), Twitter (@NRD_SanDiego) and Instagram (@ntagsw).

For more information on the opportunities the Navy has to offer medical professionals, visit www.navy.com

Date taken: 09.11.2021
Date posted: 12/31.2021 9:21 PM
Story ID: 412120
Site: SAN DIEGO, California, United States
Hometown: NEW YORK, NY, United States

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