Navy Veteran Michael Mendenhall joined the Navy in 1997 in South Carolina. He attended the Field Medical Service School in California. The Navy assigned him to the 1st Marine Division at Twentynine Palms, California, where he earned his emergency medical technician license. Mendenhall set a new record alongside a supporting hospital corpsman and several Marines. They executed the fastest emergency medical evacuation on record at the time for the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.
The Navy deployed Mendenhall to Okinawa, Japan, and Thailand, along with the Marine Corps Jungle Warfare Training Center. The Navy awarded him the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Navy Fleet Marine Force Ribbon to honor his exceptional accomplishments and professional skills.
Mendenhall also found opportunities to have fun during his time in the Navy. During a beach exercise on the USS Tarawa, Mendenhall watched several Marines participate in the filming of the movie Rules of Engagement with actor Samuel L. Jackson, which was partially filmed aboard the ship.
Besides the Twentynine Palms California 1st Marine Division, Mendenhall served with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines; 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines; and the Naval Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he served as an orthopedic technician.
After leaving the Navy, Mendenhall went on to earn an associate of arts degree in psychology and married. He enjoys practicing Tai Chi to stay in shape.
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Fact checker: Brittany Hawn
Editor: Joseph Cardinal