Intel Airman fulfilling dream to become doctor

  • Published
  • By Stacy Vaughn
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Jonathan Bellerive, 445th Operations Support Squadron operation intelligence analyst, is about to fulfill his dream of not only becoming an Air Force officer but of becoming a doctor in the Air Force.


After applying for the Health Professions Scholarship Program in the fall of 2017, Bellerive was accepted into the program and was commissioned a second lieutenant June 21, 2018. He has been placed in the Inactive Ready Reserve while he’s in medical school.


“This is a dream come true. I’m so thrilled to have this opportunity, and I want to thank all those who have supported me to make this dream come true.”


According to the Air Force Medical Service website, the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program offers medical students the opportunity to receive a full tuition scholarship along with a monthly stipend in exchange for future service as an Air Force physician.


Students enrolled in the HPSP program participate in specialized military training programs designed to help orient participants to Air Force Medicine, this includes attending Commissioned Officer Training, a five-week class at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama where the students receive practical instruction and training on their role as an Air Force medical officer.  


The lieutenant will be attending the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He’s scheduled to graduate medical school in 2022.


Bellerive came to the 445th Airlift Wing in 2014 after being assigned to the Air National Guard’s 176th Operations Support Squadron, which is part of the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. His drive to pursue medicine came about during his career in the Air Force.


“It was my third deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 that really got me interested in medicine. I was working with a rescue wing that flew C-130s and some of the missions we would pick up were medical evacuation missions. We were heavily involved with the CCAT (Critical Care Air Transport) Team and worked closely with the doctors there. That started me down the path to wanting to pursue a career in medicine.”


Bellerive’s community involvement and love of helping people were other reasons he was motivated to pursue a career in medicine. He was a Red Shirt team leader with Hands Against Hunger, a non-profit humanitarian organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a mission to provide fully nutritious food to impoverished children and families around the world.


“As Red Shirt team leaders, our job is to organize the volunteers, teach them how to pack the food packets and then keep the lines running smoothly, resupplying them, etc. This opportunity really drew me in my desire to want to help people,” Bellerive said. “I was thrilled when I found out our C-17s are occasionally tapped to fly to Haiti to drop off some of the supplies we packed but I never did get the opportunity to fly with any of the crews on these missions. I did have the chance to give a pre-mission briefing to one of the crews that flew to Haiti.”


Now that the door has closed for his time at the 445th Airlift Wing, another door has opened for Bellerive as he pursues his dream job. He’s still deciding what kind of doctor he wants to be but is leaning towards being a pediatrician.


“I loved my time here at the 445th Airlift Wing. The people are great and we treat each other like family. It’s a great sense of camaraderie here. I’m not sure where the Air Force will send me when I graduate but I’m ready to start my new adventure.”