Night Stalker medic received Army John R. Teal Award


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Sine Pari, June 17, 2008) – Sgt. 1st Class Robert Kiely was recognized as the Army’s 2007 John R. Teal Award recipient during the Association of the United States Army Annual Medical Symposium in San Antonio on June 12.

He is the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Medical Operations non-commissioned officer at Fort Campbell, Ky.

“Sgt. 1st Class Kiely has managed to bring order to chaos during the last several years with missions changing on a daily basis in multiple theaters of operation,” said Maj. Timothy Talbot, the 160th SOAR Flight Surgeon, who nominated Kiely for the award. “He is the epitome of a medical operations professional and there are a rare few that can match - much less exceed - his tremendous talent in this area.”

The Army Medical Command established this award following the first combat loss of a medical officer supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cpt. John R. Teal, Jr., was killed in action on Oct. 23, 2003, while deployed as a brigade medical planner in the 4th Infantry Division. This award annually recognizes one medical operations or support officer and NCO who have made significant contributions to the medical community and displayed exceptional Soldiering.

Kiely said that the heart of this award is representative of all the medics in his shop who have been part of a team deploying in support of operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom every day since October 2001. He said they selflessly accomplish any and all missions, no matter what they may have to sacrifice.

“They have a personal obligation on each mission,” said Kiely. “It’s their personal dedication to our guys and going on target with the customers to be the guy there that’s going to make the right decision for the mission and the patient.”

He said Night Stalker medics are a key asset due to the unique and complicated mission the unit is asked to do on a nightly basis.

“They have an understanding of a dynamic process that includes knowing the mission, understanding aircraft capabilities and managing patient care at a level of responsibility that few can assimilate,” Kiely explained.

According to his award narration, Kiely excels in medical planning for garrison, training and combat operations. In garrison, he is responsible for providing medical support to multiple combat locations around the world, supporting five battalion sized elements with Soldiers in continuous combat and training rotations, and supporting the Night Stalker Troop Medical Clinic in providing medical care to Soldiers and their families.

While deployed in combat zones during the last year, Kiely’s narration states that he conducted medical planning for numerous joint task force missions. This included many no-notice combat missions. During one such mission, Kiely prepared a casualty evacuation plan that had to be implemented. He served as the primary medic during the evacuation that resulted in the rescue of 15 special operations forces personnel.

Kiely’s daily actions are something that Talbot believes demonstrates to younger medics that despite often overwhelming responsibilities and seemingly insurmountable tasks, you can succeed by persevering, applying sound judgment and maintaining your focus.

“Sgt. 1st Class Kiely keeps them going and has been doing that over the last several years,” Talbot explained. “He somehow manages the impossible on a daily basis while still able to adapt without concern to pressing family or medical issues in his subordinates allowing them precious time at home during special occasions despite being undermanned and over-tasked.”

“Our families are incredibly supportive of the demands our job places on our time,” Kiely explained. “It’s important for our Soldiers to enjoy quality time with their families between regular deployments, training support and constant operation tempo.”

Kiely said he is part of a successful medical section because of support from various leaders within the command during combat operations that recognize Night Stalker medics can provide the best care for our aviators and the ground forces we support.

“I hope that the work we’ve accomplished and lessons we’ve learned continue increasing our capability to provide the best possible medical care possible, which our special operations forces absolutely deserve,” he said.

Kiely has more than 17 years of Army service, with the last eight years as a Night Stalker medic. He has deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, in both Afghanistan and the Philippines, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.