Dr. Ryan Pommier D.P.T., OCS

Alumni Stories: Dr. Ryan Pommier, D.P.T., OCS

College of Health Sciences, Physical Therapy Program, Class of 2007

“Serving as a uniformed Physical Therapist is a hidden gem of a career path that not many of my fellow D.P.T. classmates considered”
Dr. Ryan Pommier, Physical Therapy Program, Class of 2007

The last time we caught up with Dr. Ryan Pommier, D.P.T., OCS, (CHS-DG 2006 M.B.S., 2007 D.P.T.), he was in the middle of his 2011 deployment, in the western Pacific, on the USN aircraft carrier USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73). Thirteen years later, his commitment to uniformed service remains unwavering. Dr. Pommier's journey has been marked by a diverse range of experiences, from serving as department head of Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) at the US Naval Hospital Yokosuka to his current role as Chief of PT at the US Coast Guard Training Center, Cape May NJ.

After separating from the Navy, Dr. Pommier transitioned to a civil servant position as Chief of PT at the Camp Zama Army post in Japan. Following this time, he joined the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and served a two-year tour of duty on the Northern Navajo reservation near Flagstaff, AZ. His current assignment with the U.S Coast Guard (USCG) has him overseeing PT at the Coast Guard's enlisted basic training center.  

“Serving as a uniformed Physical Therapist is a hidden gem of a career path that not many of my fellow D.P.T. classmates considered”, he states.  Reflecting on his career, he says the professional development opportunities and professional satisfaction of caring for service members are unmatched.  For those interested in serving, he recommends thoroughly researching all branches of service with active-duty physical therapists, as it is a big decision and individuals should choose the branch that offers the best fit.  

He would like to highlight his current service, USPHS, as it is a lesser-known uniformed service that offers tremendous opportunities and benefits.  The mission of the USPHS is  to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of the nation. Most clinical positions are with the Indian Health Service and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  “Providing care to the tribes of the Northern Navajo area was a career highlight, an honor, and a privilege, and afforded me a deeper cultural understanding and appreciation that would be difficult to obtain otherwise”, he informs.  Public Health Service officers receive the same military pay, benefits, and retirement as the branches in the department of defense (DoD).  Compared to the DoD branches or USCG, the USPHS does not require officers to relocate, whereas DOD officers typically rotate every 2-3 years.  Public Health Service officers serve in over 800 locations across the U.S. and around the world.

Dr. Pommier’s current assignment is with the USCG, which has a long history with the USPHS Commissioned Corps. The origin and history of the USPHS Commissioned Corps traces back to 1798, when the US Marine Hospital Service was created to protect against the spread of disease from sailors returning from overseas ports. Strong collaboration between the USPHS and USCG continues to this day.  Serving as a neuromusculoskeletal primary care provider, Dr. Pommier’s mission is to mitigate USCG recruit attritions through effective injury management.

Dr. Pommier holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, and holds a credential as a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  He published work in the British Medical Journal of Military Health in 2022.  His areas of focus include orthopedics, manual therapy, manipulative medicine, dry needling, research, strengthening and conditioning of tactical athletes, injury prevention, running gait analysis, and running gait retraining.  He credits MWU faculty for providing a very strong set of building blocks, especially in the areas of orthopedics and neurology, which helped pave the way to where he is today.  Dr. Pommier is highly decorated and has been awarded the PHS Achievement Medal, USCG Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, and numerous unit commendations and service ribbons/medals.  

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