Jessica Cowles returns safety from Afghanistan deployment
MADISON – Jessica Cowles’ hometown of Madison is happy that this soldier has returned safely from Afghanistan.
Cowles worked as U.S. Chief of Patient Administration at a British trauma center in southwest Afghanistan She served as liaison between the combat support hospital and U.S. personnel in the area of operations and supported medevac (medical evacuation). “We provided medical care to many detainees and weren’t far from the detention facility,” she said.
Cowles met British Prime Minister David Cameron, actor Daniel Craig and Princess Anne. She frequently saw Prince Harry and “toured the Apaches that (Harry) flew while I was there.”
On base, she coordinated 5K runs and music at the chapel. She lived about two miles from the hospital with four nurses. “We had to walk a lot around the base in the sand,” Cowles said.
Cowles is a 2003 graduate of Bob Jones High School. She was in Army ROTC for four years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was captain of the UAB NCAA Rifle Team. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Commissioned as 2nd lieutenant into the Medical Service Corps, Cowles worked as a Gold Bar Recruiter for new cadets into Army ROTC at UAB. She then went to San Antonio and on to 1st Armored Division, 3rd Brigade in El Paso, Texas. “I was Officer in Charge of a brigade aid station and platoon leader in a medical company.”
Next, she joined a forward support company, providing logistics for a field artillery battalion. Currently, she works in the patient administration division at Fort Lee (near Petersburg, Va.). “It’s equivalent to hospital administration but with duties specific to military members and their health,” Cowles said.
American Legion Post 229 sponsored a surprise ‘welcome home’ party for Cowles at Madison Senior Center in May.
Her brother Andrew is a chef for John Besh in New Orleans. Her parents Tim and Carleen Cowles “are living the good life being retired and traveling,” she said. Tim Cowles formerly served on Madison City Council.