Deputy Surgeon, USFK at South Korea
By “Florida Night Train”
In these times, when mere common mortals deliberately and shamelessly choose to step on our beloved Star Spangled Banner – The American Flag, we witness new generations take pleasure boastfully calling what is good; “bad” and, what is bad; “good”, as prophesied in the Good Book. With Independence Day as a backdrop to these benefactors of freedom, I have the honor and the privilege to write about a most uncommon servant-warrior. Her spirit makes Russell Crow’s “Maximus” in the movie Gladiator insignificant. How? Maximus fought the visible at much smaller scale with primitive weapons. She fights both, visible and invisible on a global scale with indescribable mental, emotional and dare I say, spiritual weaponry. She does that while keeping absolute composure with meaningful thanksgiving for the honor to fight for our freedom, so we can fulfill our true potential as citizens in our most beloved America. To many she will need no introduction. To others, it would serve them well to get acquainted with who protects and serves them with the freedom we all enjoy. She as well will tell you there is no exclusivity or proclivity to serving her country, there are others with whom she interacts daily, both US and allied forces, who she attests do the same. She emphasizes a world made of people trying to realize purpose.
CDR Janette Arencibia;
- Deputy Surgeon, USFK South Korea – Represent USFK on all medical matters affecting Joint and Combined actions in the Korean Theater of Operations
- Health Security Cooperation, Training and Readiness – Navy Entomology Center of Excellence
- Health Security Cooperation Officer – NAVSO/FOURTH Fleet – Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence
- Medical Plans and Ops – MARCENT
- Deputy Director, Medical – Task Force 51/5
- N-NC SG Medical Plans and Ops – DOD
- Medical Planning, Ops, Medical Intel – US Navy
- M3 Knowledge Management/Readiness – BUMED
- POMI – Intern – J4, HSSD
- Contingency Operations – National Naval Medical Center
- Chief Joint Visitors Bureau – TF Pheonix V
- Healthcare Facility Manager – NSHS San Diego
- Director Of Marketing – Hamilton Health Care System
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 2018 – 2020
- Auburn University – Emergency Management – 2014 – 2019
- USMC Command and Staff – JPME – 2012 – 2014
- NWC Strategic Studies – Master’s National Security and Strategic Studies – 2010 – 2014
- Eastern Kentucky University – Master of Public Administration (MPA) Public Health – 1995 – 1996
- Eastern Kentucky University – Bachelor of Science (BS) – Health and Physical Education/Fitness 1988 – 1994
- University of South Florida – Cyber/Electronic Operations and Warfare
Her professional summary purposefully reads with humility:
“Laser focused Medical Operational Readiness and Planning Specialist “tied to the mast” of mitigated suffering and loss of combat force. Demonstrated knowledge of domestic and global healthcare delivery systems optimized to assure Homeland Security Initiatives. Skilled in Joint Military Operations, Planning & Readiness, Exercise Construct, Analytical Skills, Emergency Management, Disaster Management and Intelligence. Defense of Freedom with a Happy Heart and Strong Spirit!”
After reading her written work at www.janettearencibia.com one can discern an undeniably inspirational, spirit-led life. It is packed with power far beyond thoughts; she is incredibly gifted to help the reader understand by using simplicity, colorful poetic fluidity, and photography. Janette won the prestigious Keith L. Ware Photography Award during her service in Afghanistan.
Daughter to a preacher, she would unknowingly develop a passion for writing as a result of typing her father’s sermons each Saturday. To hear her speak of this experience is to take a journey back in time where no electricity was needed to create a typed, finished message.
Janette has become a quasi-pen-pal-kindred-spirited-sister to me over the years. We knew a day of mutual collaboration would come. I have interviewed celebrities whom I then published were capable to “slay dragons”. Today I say Janette crowns them all with unparalleled ease, they would all agree. Always encouraging, lifting and building others up, Janette is contagiously positive. Proud mother of two, Janette holds no bar charging her readers and whomever she crosses paths with to live a life filled with passion and persistent purpose. Her wordsmith flows so purely and beautifully, it makes mine default to lowly levels of timid embarrassment. She would say the same of her own work when compared to poets she aspires to emulate that include Walt Whitman, Robert Burns and yes—her very own brothers who also subscribe to poetic verbiage, however sometimes in jest, as brothers will do.
Currently stationed in South Korea, Janette and I video-conferenced on a few Saturday mornings while I enjoyed a strong coffee in the comfort of my home. We shared stories and laughter, as well as some thoughts on unity in our country. Sitting in her home next to a cello she just started to learn, Janette mentioned she was in the midst of studying North and South Korea’s history. “Understanding the past is critical to deal with the present and not repeat past errors,” she said.
Janette has her Harley Davidson Sportster stored at Bert’s Barracuda for the duration of her deployment. “Isn’t it amazing Bert does that for me and deployed service personnel out there? The support I get from friends, family and the biker community is so touching. Doing this interview is a bit like keeping in touch with you all and an opportunity to express gratitude”.
During our conversation Janette also shared about meeting Fran Haasch for the first time while attending a Wreaths Across America several years ago in Bushnell, Florida. It was raining buckets and she was the only one on a bike while there. Fran Haasch, she recalls, warmly welcomed her with a photo op of course, alongside several Buffalo Soldiers. “Fran and her husband Rhett do so much for the community,” she said.
In Janette’s words, riding is an unspoken universal safety and mutual protection language that has camaraderie and bond as top priorities. She experienced it first-hand riding through hostile territories as a female in regions where ISIS flags were flying high. She did this alongside other riders from the same Middle Eastern countries who she knew had her back.
Her heartfelt wishes as she sacrificially serves, and as greatest reward to her, is that heartfelt unity will prevail in great spirit through the homeland.
An excerpt from her reflections on D-Day, having lost a very good WWII Veteran friend who promised he’d stay alive until she returned from her deployment to Bahrain last year… as he did;
“May our Forces have the blessing, of America strong at heart
That knows the cost of war, and that suffering leaves its mark”
Two months later and four days before his 100th birthday, Roy Duncan passed on to celebrate his 100th birthday among other WWII Veterans—in heaven.
As Deputy Surgeon in South Korea, Janette’s mission alongside her Service counterparts is to anticipate the minimization of war casualties and maintain the safety of allies within the operation and exercise of missile defense. In other words, her job is to anticipate any and all health issues that may affect us and our allies on a global scale. As such, I of course hit on the topic of COVID. From Janette’s point of view; Viruses are just part of life and an evolving nature. Humans don’t like what they cannot control. Overall, COVID’s death rate is less than 1%. This virus will not kill all of us but it will make some very sick and can cause death. We cannot control what we cannot control and the great divide among us all when it comes to COVID, is our desire to control. This desire to control drives some to anger, greed, wants, selfishness, pride, blame etc… Total control is not a possibility. All we can do is adapt. This is precisely what nature does even through COVID and now the DELTA Variant of COVID, it adapts, it evolves. We need to do the same.
On the vaccine, we in the USA need to consider the value of research from allies outside of USA. US military does not mandate the vaccine because it is not FDA approved. Janette, however, did take the vaccine. Why I asked? Her personal convictions dictate that as a guest in foreign land, she feels it is her duty to take all precautionary measures in an irreproachable manner to protect our allies. That is, even at the risk of her own life. If that vaccine would kill her, she is completely fine sacrificing her own life for our freedom that way too.
Proud mother of two beautifully grown daughters, Janette is preparing her application for the Pat Tillman scholarship for a Ph.D in Behavioral Health at Oxford. I can foresee Janette being a well sought-after, inspirational public speaker. As a member in good standing of the fraternal order of St. Barbara Infantry, there aren’t many weapons Janette has not handled. However, she does attest to the utilization of her own hands as weapons against her oldest brother once where, immediately afterward, her father provided the course correction that made her learn there is always someone bigger than you. She and her family recently joked about this experience. This warrior subscribes to subtle defense mechanisms such as Kuntao. She boldly says to me with a grin, “There are seven points on a human body I know of that will make you bleed out within 10 minutes and I can hit each one facing you in less than 5 seconds”.
The Saturday mornings of recent have been well spent and in good company. I have learned that imparting wisdom through learned experience is all encompassing, for it is in witnessing reality where we find truth. The freedom we all enjoy is a result of sacrifices made by altruistic heroes such as Janette. Would it not be for our USA service men and women, the likelihood of living in a dictators-run world on a global scale without any peace, full of hatred would, I assure you all, be a reality. Let’s be very careful not to take anything for granted. When we light up those fireworks for the Fourth of July, let’s remind our children of history. Because without knowing or understanding our true, factual, and accurate history well—beyond the deception of the “woke” and “cancel-culture” pawns— lays our unity.
Janette, I humbly salute your heart, your soul, and your spirit. May God bless America, our children and their future with truth, understanding, discernment, wisdom, and the mental, emotional, and spiritual weaponry needed to defeat evil in this world to live free.
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