Specialist Kate Norley, United States Army, Maryland
Vets for Freedom
Kate Norley's call to duty
occurred following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when she realized
that her country needed her, and she subsequently put her education
on hold to go join the military.
After completing basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC, in 2001, Kate
received medical training at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX.
Once she had completed medical training, Norley was assigned to Ft.
Hood, TX. While at Ft Hood, Norley served under the 1st Cavalry
Division and completed desert-warfare training at the National
Training Center in the Mojave Desert, CA-an exercise in how the
weather and sand in a desert environment will effect both medical
equipment and transport.
Specialist (Spc.) Norley deployed to Iraq in December 2003 for a
combat-tour of 16 months. Norley served as a medic during
combat operations in Fallujah, Sadr City, and Ramadi-some of the
most challenging arenas in the war. While doing so, Norley was
awarded the Combat Medic Badge for providing medical care while
under fire. Norley traveled throughout Iraq as medical support on
patrols, and also provided emergency response to ambushed units.
When working with mobile-forward support elements, Norley met with
Army sniper teams, and collected valuable information regarding
morale and sleep logs used between missions to provide reports to
top commanders in the theater.
Spc. Norley has additional specialty training in handling combat
stress, and she served as the sole female combat-stress specialist
to more than 20,000 troops. In addition to conducting critical
event debriefings, Norley also managed the task of identifying
troop remains alongside Mortuary Affair teams throughout Baghdad.
Towards the end of her tour, she was presented the honor of
addressing female students at the University of Baghdad about
gender equality. Upon returning from Iraq, Spc. Norley was assigned
to Walter Reed Army Medical Facility (Washington D.C.) where she
completed her initial military obligation.
Norley has also spoken at the 2006 Cross-Cultural Solutions Global
Summit regarding gender equality and monitoring the stress of
volunteers during transition when abroad.
She is currently attending George Washington University and plans
on continuing service once she has completed her degree as a