Alumni Spotlight: The Many Phases of a Military Medicine Career

Dr. Charles Hutchinson and his wife pose for a photo at the US Army Ranger School.

Before joining the 75th Ranger Regiment as the Medical Director and Battalion Surgeon, Charles Hutchinson, DO ’15, was enrolled in the US Army’s Ranger School, a 61-day course considered one of the Army’s most challenging.

The course prepares units for engaging the enemy in close combat and direct fire battle through a series of training exercises and simulations. Structured into three phases, the course follows a crawl-walk-run training methodology. Students are trained in squad operations, ambush and recon missions, and patrol base operations before further developing their skills at the platoon level. In the end, students graduate proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations for long periods of time and in all climates and terrain.

Despite the challenges the course presented, Dr. Hutchinson was one of the few that did not recycle, meaning he did not have to return to an earlier part of basic training. This is a feat accomplished only by 12% to 20% of a training class in Ranger School.

Dr. Hutchinson with fellow graduates in 2015.

Prior to graduating from Ranger School, Dr. Hutchinson was part of the Military Medicine Track at RVU and a participant in the annual Cut Suit Week, a Hyper-Realistic® training simulation for military student doctors and first responders. “I’m thankful for the [RVU Military Medicine Track], the mentors and opportunities I had with the Cut Suit® and being part of the pioneering classes for the military immersion training that continues at RVU.”

Dr. Hutchinson’s time at RVU also had an impact that was deeply felt by faculty and fellow students. “We have succeeded [as a university] because people like Dr. Hutchinson have expanded our goals, integrity, knowledge and grit,” said Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of the Office of Military Affairs.

After RVU, Dr. Hutchinson was Chief Resident in the Family Medicine Residency program at Martin Army Community Hospital in Ft. Benning, Georgia. The program “was a great opportunity to grow as a physician, Army officer and solider,” said Dr. Hutchinson. “I learned many lessons about teamwork, coordination and camaraderie.”  

Today, in the 75th Ranger Regiment, Dr. Hutchinson is responsible for the training of 30 medics and providing care for over 900 rangers. In his personal life, he and his wife, Rachel, have three wonderful children: CJ, Chelsea, and Anica. As a family, they plan to make a career out of the military.

Dr. Hutchinson and his family enjoy a day at the beach.

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