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Home News Soldier goes from Special Forces to medical school with help from Army scholarship

Soldier goes from Special Forces to medical school with help from Army scholarship

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FORT KNOX, Ky. — A U.S. Army special operations recruiter is hanging up his green beret after 13 years on active duty and picking up a stethoscope to become a doctor.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Philip Nordstrom has been selected to be a part of The F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. The Army awards approximately 275 of these medical scholarships each year. Nordstrom will receive full tuition for four years and a monthly stipend of at least $2,200. Once he is finished with school and medical residency, his service commitment will be five years.

When Nordstrom graduated from high school in South Carolina, he took some college courses, then joined the Army in 2005 as a Special Forces recruit. After three years of training, he became a Special Forces medical sergeant.

"Special Forces is the best job in the world," Nordstrom said. "It was a very difficult decision to leave, but I wanted to further my career in medicine. I know there's a whole lot out there in the medical world that I haven't yet had the opportunity to be exposed to or experience."

Nordstrom's circumstance is unique. Most of the HPSP recipients are newly graduated students, Reserve Soldiers, or Guardsmen – not active-duty Soldiers.

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The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at