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Bruce W. Sperry

2021 Honoree

U.S. Army / Utah Army National Guard
Afghanistan / Iraq

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Sperry enlisted in the Army in Springville, Utah in 1975.  Sperry became a medic, and eventually, he was trained and qualified as a Special Forces (Green Beret) medic.  He served in many locations, including the Arctic, where he trained with other SF Soldiers for the interdiction of Soviet forces. In July 1986, Sperry was commissioned as a Special Forces officer, and was assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group, Utah Army National Guard. For the next several years, Sperry served on multiple Special Forces Operational Detachments within the group.

Sperry received a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Utah in 2001, and in September 2002, he received orders to the United States Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Afghanistan.  As part of the JSOC, he drew upon his medical skills and experience to help refine Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and field it to the Special Operations community.  The TCCC comprises advanced field medical procedures designed to increase the survivability of combat casualties.  It includes proper use of tourniquets on the battlefield.  The TCCC is credited for exponentially reducing the numbers of combat fatalities among Special Operations forces and regular ground forces alike.  Sperry also assisted in developing advanced trauma surgical procedures that enable life-saving emergency surgeries to begin aboard aircraft while transporting casualties to medical facilities.  Countless lives and limbs have been saved as a result of Sperry’s expertise and commitment to better care for casualties.

Sperry provided JSOC a valuable two-for-one resource and served in combat with our nation’s most elite counterterrorist forces.  His Special Forces training made him a dual asset, one as part of the combat team, and the other as a far forward deployed, combat resuscitation medical expert. Sperry demonstrated his valuable skillset in in both Afghanistan and Iraq from 2002 to 2004.  Before retiring in 2006, Sperry received numerous decorations including two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, and a Joint Service Achievement Medal. In 2019, Sperry earned a Doctorate of Medical Science degree from the University of Lynchburg.

Following his release from active duty, LTC Sperry began his employment at the George E. Whalen Veterans Hospital as a Surgical Physician’s Assistant. An example of selfless service, he says, “I have seen firsthand, mankind’s inhumanity to man.  I’ve had the honor to serve with some of the best Leaders and Special Operators in the military. It is at the VA that I have found relatedness and can still provide medical overwatch for, care, and comfort to these often vulnerable, warriors.”