Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps welcomes first senior enlisted leader
By Shireen Bedi, Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
/ Published April 27, 2021
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Chief Master Sgt. Julie Foreman, mental health technician career field manager, has been selected as the first-ever Air Force Medical Service Biomedical Sciences Corps senior enlisted leader.
The purpose of the senior enlisted leader position is to support Brig. Gen. Norman West, USAF Chief, Biomedical Sciences Corps and Air Mobility Command Surgeon, by building cohesion across the Biomedical Sciences Corps and ensuring the more than 6,800 enlisted Airmen perspectives are included in high-level decision-making.
“Our officers can’t support the mission all alone,” said West. “While the officers are in charge of a particular flight, our enlisted members are the backbone of the mission. The way I see it, the senior enlisted leader can bring a deeper understanding of how enlisted Airmen support a particular Biomedical Sciences Corps career field. She can also bring challenges enlisted Airmen face to the forefront, so we can work together to better support the broader Air Force medical mission.”
The Biomedical Science Corps spans 15 diverse career fields, including physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, audiology, clinical psychology, clinical social work, occupational therapy, aerospace and operational physiology, nutrition, bioenvironmental engineering, public health, medical entomology, physician assistant, biomedical laboratory, and pharmacy.
“Because the Biomedical Sciences Corps is so diverse, the goal for this position is to improve synchronization between officer and enlisted Airmen,” said Foreman. “We can learn from each other to make a stronger force. This will help bring together both our force development and career field objective. I want to ensure these Airmen are prepared to take on the role they have or the roles they will have throughout their Air Force career.”
As the first Biomedical Sciences Corps senior enlisted leader, Foreman is focused and standing up the position, shaping it for the future, and identifying opportunities to enhance enlisted force development.
“One of the issues we are seeing, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is readiness,” said Foreman. “Our top priority is the readiness of our medics and one of the questions we are asking is how do we maintain our operational readiness when we are also supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response. Also, we are looking into future readiness requirements and what that means when it comes to shaping the enlisted Biomedical Science Corps Airmen. These are issues I am focusing on with Brig Gen. West.”
As a mental health technician career field manager, Foreman also wants to address the well-being of the enlisted members by identifying ways to improve the support they need.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a prolonged event for us,” said Foreman. “I want to work on improving the support we can provide our enlisted members so they can remain a ready and resilient medical force.”
One way she plans on addressing enlisted member issues and bring together their perspectives is by standing up an enlisted board of directors that will remain in step with the existing Biomedical Sciences Corps board of directors.
“One of my goals is to get involved in decisions impacting our enlisted force development and our readiness earlier in the process,” said Foreman. “We are in the business of developing leaders, so how do we do that in a way that makes everyone stronger across the entire corps? There are things in my career field that the enlisted force does really well, but perhaps there’s something another career field within the Biomedical Sciences Corps is doing well and where we can all benefit.”
Foreman’s career has prepared her to take on this new role and represent the enlisted Biomedical Sciences Corps Airmen. She joined the Air Force in 1997 and has been a mental health technician and a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor. She has held various positions working in the military treatment facility and on the flight line. Through this, she gained a broader perspective of various medical group specialties.
“I have worked as part of a major command staff and I worked in the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency as the mental health division superintendent,” said Foreman. “Holding those positions really helped to provide an understanding of what the different specialties, like public health and biomedical environmental engineering, bring to the fight.”
Foreman is eager to work across the Biomedical Sciences Corps to identify ways to function more effectively and more collaboratively to enhance the overall medical force.
“Our operational diversity and experience is an advantage and enables our ability to collectively accelerate change,” said West. “In order for us to allow our Airmen to reach their full potential, we must continue to have an inclusive environment to cultivate talent, and deliberately develop and create opportunities. I’m excited to work closely with the corps’ senior enlisted leader to represent the enlisted perspective.”