"My name is Armando Aguilera. I'm an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a major in the United States Army. Early on, I never thought of becoming a surgeon. I enlisted in the Army at age 17 and became a combat medic. I had a lot of ambition, and was able to find the right mentors, who played a huge part in shaping me, giving me direction. I left the Army to attend the University of Miami, where I accepted a Green to Gold scholarship from the ROTC. After graduation, I attended dental school with assistance from the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program.
The most rewarding part is seeing a young Soldier, with a lot to look forward to, recover. They depend on you and you can help. It's very satisfying. And with difficult cases I can just walk over to consult with doctors who are experts – some, authors of famous books. You learn, one-on-one, with the best.
I like to spend time with my family, did some surfboarding when I was stationed in Hawaii, play a little softball, do some snowboarding. . . and go home to see my parents. The Army offers lots of career opportunities, and you can't beat the benefits."