ATLANTIC OCEAN – A 2005 Tulsa Union High School graduate, a 2009 University of Oklahoma graduate and a 2013 Midwestern University graduate is providing medical support aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
Lieutenant Commander Isaac Theerman, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, joined the Navy because he had always been interested in the Navy and wanted to serve.
“In college, I paused medicine and found out about the scholarship opportunities offered to the services and the Navy seemed like the best match for what I wanted to do,” said Theerman.
Today, Theerman serves with Fleet Surgical Team 6 with responsibilities similar to a civilian surgeon. However, there is an emphasis on trauma and critical care in austere environments.
“Iwo Jima Medical Department delivers high quality primary and emergency medical care anytime, anywhere,” said Jeremy Ennis, Commander and Head of the Iwo Jima Medical Department. “We provide routine medical services to all the sailors, Marines and civilian staff onboard and Marines returning from the field. We offer preventative services including PHA, Audiogram, vaccinations, and HIV blood draw. We have a basic core laboratory, full blood bank, and standard X-ray. For emergency services we have a fully stocked Emergency Room, Operating Rooms, 14 bed ICU, and 36 bed medical inpatient ward.”
According to Theerman, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Tulsa. “There are so many great qualities the people from Tulsa have: humility, kindness and a strong work ethic are just a few of those that I have carried forward on my journey,” said Theerman.
Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Theerman is most proud of mentoring young sailors to accomplish their goals. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Theerman, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy has been both a highlight and a cornerstone in my life, allowing me to develop personally and to serve my country,” added Theerman.
Wasp-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ships are built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (formerly Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding) of Pascagoula, Mississippi, US.
The Wasp-class is the US Navy’s large-deck multipurpose amphibious assault ship. A total of eight Wasp-class ships were built and all eight are active as of June 2020. LHDs embark, transport, deploy, command and fully support all elements of a marine expeditionary unit (MEU) of 2,000 marines, inserting forces ashore via helicopters, landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The WASP-class is the first specifically designed to employ air-cushion landing craft (LCACS) and to carry a squadron of Harrier II (AV-8B) STOVL (short take-off vertical landing) jets.