RCBC alum and U.S. Army veteran trains to become healthcare hero
Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020

Joshua Redlich standing with his Army colleagues

(Caption: Joshua Redlich [third in from right] standing among his Army colleagues.)

What does it take to jump out of a moving plane? Spend countless nights sleeping in the mud? Seek out enemy combatants? Just ask Rowan College at Burlington County alum Joshua Redlich. 

Redlich, of Haddonfield, recently joined the ranks of Rutgers University-Camden’s 2020 student veterans of the year. After serving in the U.S. Army for four years and attaining the rank of E-4 Specialist, he’s now committed to serving his community in a different capacity -- as a nurse. 

“I decided to pursue nursing because of the huge variety of opportunities it offers. There is always another degree, certificate or speciality training to be earned, and each one opens up a new door to countless career paths. I also like to travel and move around a lot, so being able to find work nearly anywhere in the world was also a huge draw to the field,” Redlich shared. 

Although one could argue that Joshua’s military background exposed him to plenty of challenges over the years, he’ll tell you that starting his degree was one of the most difficult and stressful things he’d done up to that point. He began his educational journey at RCBC in 2016 and credits RCBC’s veteran services guru Michael Gentry for making sure he was taken care of from day one. Gentry dedicated countless hours each semester to ensuring Redlich redeemed his veteran benefits and went above and beyond to support his academic goals. Two years later, Redlich earned his associate degree in biology. He looks back fondly on his experiences with a diverse group of peers and supportive faculty.  

“My time at RCBC was great! It's hard to pick specific memories that stand out, but one thing I remember is the huge diversity of friends I made while I was there. I had my normal ‘clique’ that I studied with every day, but there were also many times when I was studying alone and a group of students playing video games in the break area would invite me over to play,” Redlich recalled. “The friendly atmosphere and inclusiveness is definitely what I remember most.” 

Redlich has since transferred to the accelerated nursing program at Rutgers-Camden and feels incredibly humbled to be named veteran of the year.   

“I am not sure how I stack up to the rest of the Rutgers vets, but it has definitely inspired me to live up to the standard that my peers who have received this award in the past have set. I am just looking forward to things returning to normal, so I can continue to work with the vet community at Rutgers and continue to ‘earn’ this award,” Redlich said.  

With the rigorous workload from the accelerated nursing program, he tries to make time for himself each day to go to the gym.  

“It’s basically my reset button. It's the one place I can forget the craziness of the world and take my mind off school for a while,” Redlich said.  

As for his future plans, Redlich aims to apply to Rutgers University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program after completing his ABSN. And, of course, he hopes to apply his nursing skillset to make a difference in the lives of veterans.  

“I plan on applying to a few different VA hospitals in the area. I really want to work with veterans and do what I can to give back to the community that has done so much for me,” he said.