Contributions from Ronald McNamara, PT CEAS and Director of Therapy Operations for Summit Rehabilitation.
In what branch of the military did you serve and when?
I am the Commander of the 141st Medical Group, Washington Air National Guard located at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. I exercise command of over 90 personnel from various medical and support function career fields. Additionally, I am responsible for the readiness of all personnel for activation in support of various federal and state emergency domestic operations.
Tell us about your career - including opportunities/milestones leading up to your current role.
I began my military career in 1996 as an Airman First Class in Syracuse, NY with the 174th Fighter Wing, New York State Air National Guard where I served as an Aeromedical Apprentice. In January 1999, I transferred to the 107th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls, NY where I was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In September 2000, I then cross-trained into Security Forces and was assigned to the 107th Security Forces Squadron as a Fire Team Leader. I was deployed overseas on title 10 orders from 02 DEC 2002 through 22 May 2003 in support of Operations NOBLE EAGLE and ENDURING FREEDOM. After a brief break in service, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 146th Medical Group of the California Air National Guard where I served as a Physical Therapist, before transferring in 2008 to the 141st Medical Group at Fairchild AFB, Washington as a Physical Therapist. Lieutenant Colonel McNamara assumed command as the 141st Medical Group, Detachment 1 Commander in October 2016.
I have been a Physical Therapist since 2002 and have worked with patients with various occupational, orthopedic, and neurological injuries. I have performed as a Lead Therapist, Regional Therapy Director, and Divisional Vice President of Therapy Services overseeing clinics in Washington and Alaska. I am currently the Director of Therapy Operations for Summit Rehabilitation since May 2021.
How has your experience in the military prepared you for your current role?
As a Group Commander in the military, my focus is on strategic planning and mentoring young leaders to ascend to the next level. I see that as my role as a Regional Director. Mentor young clinic directors to someday make the next step in their careers.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role in PT?
Helping to grow and mentor young leaders.
What motivates and inspires you every day?
Knowing that what we do makes a positive contribution to another human being's life.
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, who is someone you appreciate/would like to recognize?
Colonel Chuck Riley and Colonel Larry Gardner were mentors and colleagues who saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.