Just when you think you’re doing well in your career, you come across a guy like Drew Morgan, whose achievements make you feel a little more humble.

  • West Point Grad
  • Medical Doctor
  • Served in multiple special operations units
  • Astronaut

You can just hear a mother haranguing her young adult son, “Why can’t you be like Dr. Morgan? He’s a doctor, an Army officer, and an astronaut!” 

Space Station
Colonel Morgan’s home away from home. Original SOFREP AI art.

Dr. Morgan was selected to NASA’s 21st group of astronauts.  Below is the story of how that happened.

From Regular Old Special Forces Doctor to Astronaut

When the phone rang with a Houston, Texas area code, Lt. Col. Andrew R. Morgan’s heart skipped a beat. A U.S. Army medical officer, a husband, and a father of four, Morgan had been through a grueling selection process, and that call was the answer to whether he had made it into NASA’s 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class.

It was a challenge that intrigued Morgan from the moment he stumbled upon a job listing in late 2012. The Johnson Space Center in Houston was seeking candidates for a position that promised competitive pay, full benefits, and a chance to possibly travel to the Moon, Mars, the International Space Station, or even a neighboring asteroid. But for Morgan, the job’s real allure was the opportunity to continue the exploration of space, an uncharted territory far beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

From over 6000 applicants, Morgan’s extraordinary background set him apart. A 1998 graduate of The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he went on to earn his doctorate in medicine. His career path led him to emergency medicine and eventually to the Army Special Operation community, where he thrived on challenges, graduating from Ranger school and becoming a combat diver.

Assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, Morgan found his most rewarding role as a battalion surgeon. He developed a passion for teaching Special Forces medics, learning from them as much as he imparted his knowledge. His work in field medicine led to the groundbreaking idea of using ultrasound technology in battlefield conditions. Maj. William N. Vasios III described Morgan’s ability to adapt this technology from hospital to battlefield as indicative of his determination and vision.

His deployment experience in Afghanistan and Iraq gave Morgan skills that made him stand out among other astronaut candidates. Col. Peter J. Benson praised Morgan as a top-flight emergency medicine physician, citing his pioneering work in training and fielding ultrasounds in Special Forces as leaving a lasting impression.