SPC Jamerie Paras, a 2022 graduate of Northern Marianas College’s School of Business, is working towards becoming a combat medic specialist of the U.S. Army at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas.
Paras, who graduated with honors from the U.S. Army Combat Basic Training in August 2022, said enlisting in the military is her way of showing appreciation to the country of which she is a naturalized citizen.
The 34-year-old married mother of three girls is originally from the Philippines.
“I was a captain in the Cadet Officer Leadership Training class in the Philippines, back when I was in high school,” Paras said. “When I was at NMC, I joined the Future Leaders Club where I met SFC Romeo Igisomar who informed me that the Army could help me obtain my master’s degree. After meeting him, I decided to enlist.”
Paras enlisted in the U.S. Army after receiving her bachelor’s degree in business management from NMC.
For Paras, her training experience was an “eye opener.”
“Not being able to talk to my family when I needed to or wanted to is one big thing,” Paras said. “There were several weeks that I was not able to speak to my kids. I can say that this is what made me feel like a real soldier — to be out there serving your country but unable to connect to your family. The Army’s basic combat training course changed me in so many ways and it was definitely an experience of a lifetime that I will surely never forget.”
Paras said the medical field wasn't her first choice when she enlisted.
“When I thought about being a combat medic, I was first terrified by the thought of dying and leaving my family,” Paras said. “But God has his own way of showing you the way. After going over my options and knowing that I like to travel, meet people and help people, I decided that being a combat medic was the right choice for me.”
Paras thanks her husband Alfred Ryan Paras, her children, her coworkers, the Saipan Army Reserve Center, and Northern Marianas College for all the support they have given her.