2019 Tillman Scholar

John Reidelbach

Wake Forest University
M.M.S., Physician Assistant

“It will take more than awareness to make a change.  It will take vision and action to ensure proper medical care is a right exclusive to none.”

John grew up surrounded by pictures and regalia of his grandfather’s time in the service, reminiscent of another generation’s call to arms. When the World Trade Center fell, he too felt compelled to serve. As his graduation approached, the invasions into Afghanistan and Iraq continued to weigh on his conscience. John completed his B.S. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida and enlisted into the U.S. Army.

His time as a Green Beret in 1st Special Forces Group would take him to Afghanistan, the Philippines, and numerous countries in Southeast Asia. Eager to expand his combat medical knowledge and be of greater service to fellow soldiers, he also served multiple rotations to Iraq and the Middle East.

Throughout John’s travels he realized the common need for medical care was a force that superseded differences in politics across all economic and social classes. He believed care should be exclusive to none, but saw many populations go underserved due to socioeconomic obstacles. John believed using the unique mobile medical skill set of Special Forces Medics could help solve similar access to care issues for those in his own country.

John continues to serve in the Army and currently is a Physician Assistant student at Wake Forest University. He will never forget the lessons he learned in uniform, and apply them to his vision to better provide medical care to those lacking this critical human necessity.