In her civilian career, Jennifer Blocker is employed as a nurse who enjoys spending her free time with her mustang mare, Zipporah. In her military career, she is one of more than 200,000 citizen-soldiers serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Currently assigned to Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline in Corpus Christi, Texas, Maj. Jennifer Blocker is one of more than 250 Army Reserve medical soldiers currently mobilized in support of an Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force as part of the Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to COVID-19 in south Texas.
Specifically created to respond in this crisis, the UAMTF is designed to augment the civilian medical community by delivering a range of medical capabilities.
A member of UAMTF-7454, Ms. Blocker’s team arrived in Texas late July.
There are a total of six UAMTFs serving hospitals in Texas. Each 85-person team consisting of doctors, nurses, combat medics, respiratory therapists, and ancillary personnel that expand the capacity of care that civilian medial facilities can offer their community.
In total, U.S. Northern Command has assigned about 590 military medical and support personnel from the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Texas.
On her first day, Ms. Blocker was able to assist in providing a patient with life-saving treatment.
A native of Chicago, Ms. Blocker earned her nursing degree from DePaul University. Her decision to serve in the Army was based on multiple factors.
“To serve my nation, to take pride in Army medicine, and for the opportunities,” stated Ms. Blocker, on why she commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps in 2006.
After completing 12 years of service, she left active duty in late 2018 but continued to serve in the Army Reserve.
Ms. Blocker relocated to Arizona to care for her parents and reconnect with family.
Employed by Banner Health at Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Ms. Blocker lives with her father in Glendale, but also spends time in Surprise with her mother.
“It is bittersweet to leave my parents, but I’m proud to be able to help in this COVID-19 battle,” Ms. Blocker stated. “I support this mission completely. Every Army mission has, at its core, the American public.”
Ms. Blocker shared a message to her fellow military and civilian medical colleagues serving across the nation,
“Stay safe, and stay resilient. We are in this together and we’ve got each other’s backs,” she said. “Army medicine will give it everything we have and keep giving.”