“I’m A Soldier First”: An Army Surgeon And Astronaut

Andrew Morgan


Drew Morgan grew up in an Air Force family, the son of an Air Force Dentist. As a young man, he was a wrestler and a swimmer, and participated in Air Force ROTC. Recalling his first West Point visit with his dad, he noted that he “fell in love with the place.” As a Cadet, he majored in Environmental Engineering and took additional medical school prerequisites. He was active in Officers’ Christian Fellowship and was on the Parachute Team, remarking that the discipline required on the Parachute Team offers parallels to being an Astronaut. He branched Aviation, but was selected for medical school, and commissioned into the Medical Corps. He attended the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), noting that medical school required a period of adjustment, and he found biochemistry particularly challenging. He specialized in emergency medicine and acute care, eventually tracking into special operations before becoming a Dive Medical Officer (he took permissive TDY as a Medical Student to certify as a Combat Diver) and serving as Battalion Surgeon for 3rd Special Forces Group from 2007 to 2010. In 2012, he became a Sports Medicine Fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University, and planned on continuing as a Special Ops surgeon. In 2013, he had the opportunity to become an Astronaut Candidate, and in 2015, he became an Astronaut, flying to the International Space Station on three missions (60, 61, and 62). Currently, he is the NASA Detachment Commander and the Senior Army Astronaut. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, growing up in an Air Force family, and visiting West Point. He reflects on his Cadet experiences, academics, and some of the clubs he participated in. He describes his time at medical school, and several of his assignments as a Surgeon. He discusses his service as an Astronaut, highlighting his time on the International Space Station. Finally, he shares what his service and West Point mean to him.


topics Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie Honor Character Courage Military Medicine West Point History Patriotism Astronaut
interviewer David Siry
date 10 September 2021


name Andrew Morgan
institution USMA
graduation year 1998
service Medical Corps
unit NASA
specialty Trauma Doctor, Surgeon, Combat Diver, Astronaut
service dates 1998