ACCESS TO CARE
Colonel Noel J. Cárdenas is a native of Weslaco, Texas. He attended the University of Texas-Pan American from 1983 to 1985. In 1985, he was awarded an Army ROTC Scholarship and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. In May 1988, he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a United States Regular Army Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. Colonel Cárdenas holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Health Care Administration from Baylor University. Prior to Colonel Cárdenas assuming command of Reynolds Army Community Hospital, he served as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for Administration at Brooke Army Medical Center.
Throughout his career, he has balanced field unit and fixed facility assignments. His initial assignment was with the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He established a foundation of soldiering by serving as the Division Medical Supply Officer, 27th Main Support Battalion. In September 1990, he deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Upon redeployment, he was assigned as the Division’s Medical Logistics Officer, Division Support Command. He later served as Commander, Charlie Company (Medical), 64th Forward Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado; Brigade S-4, 1st Medical Brigade, and Executive Officer/Deputy Commander for Operations and Administrative Services, 21st Combat Support Hospital, Fort Hood, Texas. In March 2003, he deployed with the 21st Combat Support Hospital in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He subsequently assumed the duties as Executive Officer, Medical Task Force 21, Balad, Iraq. In June 2008, he assumed command of the 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Wiesbaden, Germany. In October 2008, he deployed the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) from the 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. In November 2008, he assumed the duties as the Commander, Task Force 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion on Joint Base Balad.
Colonel Cárdenas’ fixed facility assignments include Chief, Materiel Branch, Evans Army Community Hospital, Fort Carson, Colorado; Administrative Resident, Chief, Clinical Support Division, Chief, Managed Care Division, Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Deputy Commander for Administration, Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, Fort Huachuca, Arizona and Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander for Administrative Services, Evans Army Community Hospital, Fort Carson, Colorado.
CSM Thomas R. Oates was born in Norwich, Connecticut. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Jackson SC. He then went on to complete Advanced Individual Training as a Combat Medic at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
He has served in a variety of assignments including: Womack Army Medical Center 2 tours; 558th Ground Ambulance Company (Camp Humphrey’s Korea); Victory Brigade Fort Jackson SC; 3rd BN 7th Infantry Division (Fort Stewart GA); Fox Army Health Center (Redstone Arsenal); Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 602nd Area Support Medical Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 1st Infantry Division. His operational and combat tours include Kosovo in support of KFOR 7A, Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai Egypt; Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
His military education includes Warrior Leader Course, Instructor Trainer Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, First Sergeants Course, Master Resilience Trainer Course and The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.
CSM Oates has served with distinction in all enlisted leadership positions from Squad Leader through Command Sergeant Major. His positions of increased responsibility include Line Medic, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Detachment Sergeant, NCOIC of Primary Care Clinic, Plans and Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant, Senior Medical NCO, Chief Medical NCO, and Command Sergeant Major.
His civilian education includes an Associate of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Columbia College of Missouri. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resource Management from Webster University.
A few of his awards and decorations include but are not limited to the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters; Army Commendation Medal with five oak leaf clusters; Army Achievement Medal with six oak leaf clusters; Good Conduct Medal; Noncommissioned Officer’s Development Ribbon with numeral 4, and the Expert Field Medical Badge. CSM Oates is a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
Reynolds Army Community Hospital is a Department of Defense medical facility at Fort Sill , located in the beautiful Wichita Mountains of Southwest Oklahoma.