Balancing academic, extracurriculars, and a social life is about all the average college student can manage. On top of pursuing a dual-degree in Human Development and Psychology, being a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and being a member of both the Christiansburg Rescue squad and Virginia Tech’s Pre-Vet Club, Jocelyn Escobar works as a combat medic for an army unit located in Lynchburg Virginia.
Escobar spends her time in a medical platoon, where most medics are on alert for any injured soldiers that need medical attention.
“We are responsible for giving our soldiers their yearly booster,” Escobar states, “and, [to] help with any injury or illness that we can to the best of our ability.”
With a passion for helping others, Escobar chose to pursue the job of a combat medic in order to help others. To her, medicine is one of the best ways to do just that.
Growing up, Escobar was very close to her uncle, and looked to him as a father figure. As an officer in the navy, Escobar admired the amount of respect her uncle received, as well as the self-discipline he attained.
Aside from her uncle, Escobar is the first member within her family to work in the military. At first, her parents did not support her aspirations to become a combat medic.
“They wanted me to pursue college,” began Escobar, “...since I am a first generation college student in our family.”
Escobar made the decision to enlist in the military without her parents’ permission. Once her first year came to an end and she returned home for the summer, Escobar finally informed her parents that she had two weeks before she had to leave for Basic Training. Knowing there was not much they could do or say to stop her, they had no choice but to support her decision.
Escobar’s training consisted of an accelerated six week program in which she would receive her NREMT certification, a certificate which normally takes six month to obtain, and an additional six week training for combat lifesaving situations. Afterwards, Escobar went into the field for two weeks, where she put her training to the test.
“We had to undergo many situations, such as night situations.” Escobar stated, “We worked in the dark to provide care for the wonder soldiers, and mass casualties situations; carrying injured soldiers to safety, all while having firearms going off in a smoke filled room.”
By the time basic training had come to an end, Escobar graduated from the program with honors, and had two supportive parents by her side.
Five years from now, Escobar still sees herself following her passion and working for the army. She wants to further her career as a combat medic, and possibly become an officer or doctor once she graduates from Virginia Tech.
As a woman in a male dominated field, Escobar had a lot of competition throughout her training course. Although phrases such as, “You can’t do it” would discourage most, they only made Escobar push harder. Determined to show everyone that women can do whatever men do, and maybe even do it better, Escobar never gave up. Because of the efforts of women like Jocelyn Escobar, the statistics of women to men ratios in the army are slowly growing, and creating a path for future female combat medics.
“Being able to pursue the army while in college has been a great opportunity for me, and I am very fortunate for it.”
Aside from being a student at Virginia Tech and dealing with all the responsibilities of an average college student, Jocelyn Escobar is actively making a change in our world, and spending her life in pursuit of saving others.
Source: All photos are courtesy of Jocelyn Escobar.