Military dietitians upon graduation obtain leadership assignments in clinical, food service, health promotion, performance nutrition, nutrition research, and nutrition education. The setting can be a small community hospital, tertiary care medical center, clinics, schools, educational institutions, and/or research facilities. Assignments typically are 2 - 4 years in length. A majority of the dietitian positions are stateside but military dietitians can have an opportunity to work overseas in Germany, Italy, and South Korea. Read below for a few examples of what GPN graduates are doing!
MAJ Bridget Owens, MS, RD, CNSC
Class of 2009 – Alma Mater: University of Rhode Island
"Since graduating from the GPN in 2009, I have held a variety of leadership positions in clinical nutrition and community and outpatient nutrition, worked on a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team for wounded warriors, and in education of both dietetic interns and graduate students. The GPN challenged and prepared me exceptionally well in academics, research, and professional development. Completing a rigorous program in a short amount of time taught me a lot about flexibility and perseverance, while the diversity of assignments I've had has improved my adaptability, all crucial skills for success! As an Army Officer, Dietitian, and Educator, I am challenged and inspired on a daily basis by those I work with and those I serve."
CPT Adam Kieffer, PhD, RDN, CSSD, CSCS, TSAC-F
Class of 2009 – Alma Mater BS: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Alma Mater PhD: Texas A&M Univeristy
"The US Military Graduate Program in Nutrition is, in my opinion, the Nation’s premiere combined masters and dietetic internship. That might seem like a bold statement, but not only was I able to earn a MS and RD certification in less than two years, while receiving pay and benefits, the patient population of the military ranges from Elite tactical athletes to the severely injured, a unique combination I don’t think you will find elsewhere. I taught classes on performance nutrition, wrote recommendations for enteral feedings for patients with 90% total burns, to educating schools on child/youth nutrition. The exposure to this innumerable of nutrition-related conditions is second to none and helped me understand the value of medical nutrition therapy in all settings."
CPT Kelly Perez, MS, RD
Class of 2009 – Alma Mater: Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
"The GPN was an excellent experience for me and I would not be where I am at today without the outstanding leaders and instructors that support the program. My favorite part of the program was conducting and analyzing research and learning how to incorporate evidence based guidelines into my practice. The Army provided countless opportunities both inside and outside the field of dietetics to develop professionally, affect positive change, and to help others. Since graduation, I have worked in the acute care inpatient setting, critical care, weight management, sports nutrition, pediatrics, and have held various leadership positions. I am currently the Chief of Nutrition and Food Services at the VA in Tucson, AZ and also continue to serve as a RD and Executive Officer for my unit in the Army Reserves."
CPT Ashley Carlson, RD, CSSD, CLC
Class of 2012 – Alma Mater: University of Centeral Missouri
"'After graduating from the US Military-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition in 2012, I was afforded a myriad of opportunities as an Army dietitian. In addition to honing my clinical skills, the Army taught me how to lead others with confidence, manage conflict, and communicate effectively. During my six years as a dietitian, I worked in clinical, performance, community, administrative, and leadership positions. Each job brought new challenges and experiences that expanded my skill-set. I have enjoyed my time in the Army as a registered dietitian and look forward to future opportunities."
MAJ Julianna Jayne, PhD, RDN, LD, CHES
Class of 2008 – Alma Mater: Winthrop University
"The Graduate Program in Nutrition prepared me exceptionally well to excel as a nutrition professional. Since graduating in 2008, I have worked in clinical nutrition, foodservice operations, and health promotion – all while gaining important management and leadership skills. The Army provided me the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree and I now serve as a research dietitian investigating ways to improve the nutritional health and performance of Soldiers."
CPT(P) Michelle Stone, MS, RDN, CSSD, CSWOM, LD
Class of 2011 – Alma Mater: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
"Being seven years prior enlisted Air Force, I knew I wanted to go back into the military after undergrad. Joining the Army, however, was not on my radar until I came across the Army-Baylor GPN program. This program lured me away from the Air Force and I have no regrets! I felt fully competent as a leader and as a clinician after completing this program. I was amazed at the seamless transition from my internship at Walter Reed to my first position as Clinical Dietetics Chief at Ft. Stewart, GA. After a short tour in Korea, my specialty certifications allowed me focus on sports nutrition and weight management at the Sergeants’ Major Academy while working as the sole dietitian within a multidisciplinary team. Currently, I am in a work-experience program as a “Training with Industry” fellow to learn best-in-class practices in worksite wellness, sustainability, innovation and foodservice management from a large civilian corporation in San Antonio, TX. In the next few months, I will be transitioning to where my career began. I am excited to start educating and mentoring the next generation of Army dietitians as a GPN instructor."
CPT Allison Sanchez, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Class of 2011 – Alma Mater: Florida State University
"Completing the Graduate Program in Nutrition and becoming an Army dietitian is the best decision I have ever made. Not only did I get to graduate with my master’s degree, I also have been able to travel in the United States and Europe. While doing the master’s program and internship, I was able to be stationed in San Antonio, Washington D.C., and do a two week rotation in Fayetteville, NC. Since graduating from the GPN, I was able to serve as the dietitian for the Sergeants Major Academy in El Paso, TX, do a two week rotation at Fort Carson, CO, and serve as the Brigade dietitian in Bavaria, Germany, for three years, where I also was able to travel to 20 countries for leisure. As an Army dietitian I have been responsible for providing inpatient medical nutrition therapy, overseeing patient tray operations, being the lead pediatric dietitian, the lead sports dietitian, supervising NCOs and DA civilians, serving as the Surgeon General’s representative at installation food menu board meetings, inspecting all post childcare and youth care centers for optimal nutrition provided to military kids, forming a bariatric support group and being the lead bariatric dietitian, providing outpatient medical nutrition therapy, and doing unit nutrition briefs for Company Commanders, First Sergeants, drill sergeants, basic trainees, Rangers, etc. Lastly, I got to rappel from a helicopter in Air Assault school, jump out of airplanes in Airborne school, and earn the gold in the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge."
CPT Lori W. Maggioni, MS, RDN, CSP, LD
Class of 2011 – Alma Mater: The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!)
"If the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ranked internship programs, I have full confidence that the U.S. Military-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition would be #1! Being an Army dietitian is incredibly rewarding. The GPN gives you all the tools to be a successful dietitian and military officer. Since graduating from the GPN, I've had the opportunity to grow my leadership and clinical skills through a wide range of assignments from inpatient/outpatient nutrition, hospital foodservice operations, community nutrition, and public health. Our primary mission as Army dietitians is supporting the Warfighter's readiness and upholding the commitment to care for our Soldiers when sending them in harm's way. Army Medicine must be agile, adaptive, flexible, and ready to deploy healthy individuals in a moment's notice. In 2017 I deployed on a humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico with the 14th Combat Support Hospital for Hurricane Maria disaster relief. I worked with an elite team of military healthcare providers to provide life-saving and life-sustaining services to over 1,800 patients and facilitated the distribution of over 40,000 humanitarian food rations. It was truly the most rewarding experience of my career. "
CPT Paul Rosbrook, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, TSAC-F.
CPT Brigette Grimes, MS, RD, CSSD
Class of 2013 - Alma Mater: Johnson and Wales University/Denver
"Within 3 months of graduating from the GPN, I took over as Chief, Nutrition Clinic at Madigan Army Medical Center, a 262-bed tertiary care teaching medical center. This position allowed me to deliver evidence-based outpatient care while expanding my knowledge of clinical management (e.g., employee counseling, scheduling, workload and quality metrics). I even had the opportunity to serve as a Community Nutrition preceptor for GPN Phase 2 dietetic interns. Over time, my position evolved to encompass more community outreach efforts to include overseeing dietitians supporting patient-centered healthcare clinics, unit nutrition education classes, and installation-wide performance nutrition and supplement safety initiatives. Less than three years out of my internship, I led a staff of 26 military and civilian personnel as the Chief, Clinical Dietetics Branch overseeing all inpatient and outpatient care, inpatient feeding, and community outreach for the installation. Now, I am headed into an operational position as the Division Performance Dietitian for 4th Infantry Division where I will have the opportunity to focus primarily on Soldier readiness. I love being an Army Dietitian - where else could I have the flexibility to pursue such a variety of opportunities to grow as a dietitian and leader while pursuing my personal interests (e.g. Performance Nutrition, Population Health and Community Nutrition Outreach)."
MAJ Benjamin Wunderlich, MS, RD, CSSD
Class of 2008 - Alma Mater: University of Minnesota, Mankato
"I graduated the Graduate Program in Nutrition in 2006 and have looked forward to going to work every day since. This job offers a dietitian diversity, if you choose to chase it unlike any other RD/RDN opportunity. I have been able to work with all components of the Armed Forces (Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Reserves, & National Guard) and our NATO allies. Experiences I have cherished, include completing the 100 mile Nijmegen March with our NATO allies, cooking in the field with British and Netherland units, and mentoring my Soldiers. The opportunity to grow in this field of dietetics is only expanding as the Army is increasing the number of RD/RDNs in uniform and the jobs they can do. Hurry and sign up today!"
MAJ Sean Spanbauer, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, LDN
Class of 2008 - Alma Mater: Kent State University
"I have held 5 positions since graduating the GPN program. Each position provided me with new experiences. From 2008-2011, I was Chief, Out-Patient Nutrition at large Army community hospital in Colorado. Additional responsibilities at this assignment included serving as Sports Dietitian for the Army World Class Athlete Program and for the 10th Special Forces Group. In my next position (2011-2013), I was the Program Director and Instructor for the Nutrition Education and Training Branch at AMEDD C&S at Fort Sam Houston, TX. This branch was responsible for teaching diet technicians (68M) and Army nurses various nutrition classes. We also trained Army, Air Force, and Navy dietitians military skills through the Joint Field Nutrition Operations Course. My next opportunity (2013-2014) was at the U.S. Olympic Training Center as a Sports Nutrition Fellow. This position afforded me the chance to work with U.S. National Team athletes from various sports training for Olympic and other international competitions. The military has a special program, called Training with Industry, whereby officers can apply for 12 month civilian fellowship positions at various organizations in order to obtain highly specialized skills. After the fellowship I was assigned to the US Army Special Operations Command (2014-2017). At that assignment, I was the Lead Performance Dietitian for the Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning (THOR3) program. THOR3 is the human performance program for Army Special Forces and Rangers. In my current position, I am Chief of the Nutrition Care Division at a 94-bed hospital and I am in charge of 60+ employees comprised of clinical, foodservice, and administrative staff. The GPN has prepared me to be successful in all of these positions. Additionally, I’ve had multiple new GPN grads work for me over the years, and every one of them outstanding and well prepared."