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Face of Defense: Physical Therapist Shares Story With College Students

By Army Capt. Constance Quinlan
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2008 – Army Capt. Chris Remillard took hometown recruiting to a whole new level when he gave a live guest lecture to students at Ithaca College in New York, from this base in Iraq.

Remillard, a 2004 Ithaca College alumnus, spoke to the students April 2 and shared his experiences serving in the Army. He is a physical therapist assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division’s Company C, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

A month before his guest lecture, Remillard received an invitation from a former Vietnam-era Army physical therapist, Dr. Michael Pagliarulo, chair of the Ithaca College Physical Therapy Department. Pagliarulo asked the 2004 graduate to speak to his class about the unique opportunities afforded physical therapists in the Army.

“A civilian PT can’t order things like X-rays, bone scans, MRIs. He has to send patients back to a primary care doctor. Not only can I order tests, I can prescribe medicine and refer soldiers to other specialists,” said Remillard, a native of Syracuse, N.Y. “It’s really designed to expedite the process for soldiers, especially in this type of environment.”

Remillard was commissioned into the Medical Service Corps through the Cornell University Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 2004 with a degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College.

Several students expressed interest in joining the ROTC after the hour-long question and answer session, attended by roughly 40 students and faculty members.

Remillard has already made plans to conduct another session with Ithaca’s next class of physical therapy students.

“It’s nice to promote my field and bring new people in,” he said. “It puts everything I do into perspective … keeping soldiers in the fight.”

(Capt. Constance Quinlan is assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

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