I am Navy Medicine: Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley

By Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley, reserve liaison officer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley spreading the Navy Medicine mission during Albuquerque Navy Week 2016

My name is Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley. I’m a reserve liaison officer at the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. My job as a reserve liaison officer is to ensure Navy Medicine is ready to mobilize Sailors to deploy.

I believe in selfless service to others. I enjoy mentoring and coaching Sailors, and developing pathways to help them reach their career goals.

My passion for helping Sailors succeed comes from how I got to where I am today.

I joined the Navy right out of high school. Originally, I had intended to be an airman and went into the fleet as an aviation boatswain’s mate. After deployments during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60), I made the conversion to hospital corpsman and completed nursing school at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, Alabama.

High five – Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley engages with the community during Albuquerque Navy Week 2016

I’m a mustang nurse and very proud of it. A mustang nurse is a service member who served as enlisted before commissioning as an officer. It’s where I get my ‘don’t forget where you came from’ mentality. The lessons I learned out in the fleet, combined with the high speed environment of the flight deck, were invaluable. They helped shape how I approach my role as an officer today.

Ideally, a mustang commissions in the same branch. For me, that wasn’t the case. I was a hospital corpsman first class when I directly commissioned into the Army. I gained most of my operational and casualty experience working with a forward surgical team in the Army during Operation Enduring Freedom.

My time in the Army provided lots of life learning opportunities, but the turning point of my career was when I came back to the Navy. After a 10-year stint with the Army, I was selectively called back by a Navy reserve recruiter who asked if I was interested in a critical care slot. I jumped at the opportunity.

It was a privilege to be called back to serve with the Navy. I feel like I’ve found a home with the Navy, and I’ve been living the dream ever since.

Every day I wake up energized knowing I get to make a difference. I serve for the flag, for the country and for the people.

My name is Lt. Cmdr. James Wiley and I am Navy Medicine.