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