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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2022

Medical doctor direct commissions into the Kentucky National Guard

By Andy Dickson, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

A new medical doctor direct commissioned into the Kentucky Army National Guard in a ceremony at Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky. on Oct. 18, 2022.

Capt. Sara Powell took the oath of the commissioned officer with her husband, parents, and daughter watching. Powell will be the new brigade surgeon for the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Richmond, Ky.

According to Chief Warrant Officer Tim Collins, a Kentucky National Guard recruiter, Powell is the first female medical doctor to commission into the Kentucky Army National Guard in the past 40 years, and possibly in its 230-year history.

“We spoke to several medical professionals in the organization,” said Collins. “We’ve had several nurse practitioners, physician’s assistances, and dentists, but as a medical doctor, Powell is the first one in records that we can find.”

Powell received her undergraduate degree in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and then attended a U.S.-affiliated Caribbean medical school. She moved on to do clinical work in New York, Florida, and Georgia then finally took up her residency at Baptist Health in Madisonville, Ky.

She currently works full-time as the facility medical director at St. Joseph Hospital in Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Her decision to join the KYNG formed many years ago while in college.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the military,” said Powell. “I had trouble figuring out which part of the military I wanted to join but when I found out about the Guard, I was like, ‘that’s it, that’s what I want to do.’”

Powell not only wanted to be in the military, but she wanted the challenges that come with it.

“Physicians thrive on being challenged and want to be learning every day,” said Powell. “It will be a better way to challenge myself.”

Powell is not the first in her family to have joined. Last year, her brother enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard.

Powell’s family comes from India; her mother’s father served in the Indian military.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, the service is the same. The loyalty to your country. I am a U.S. citizen, so I wanted to serve here.”

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