Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Cori Wilkerson
Cori was born and raised in Rock Springs, WY, where she
was raised to love the outdoors, and anything related to animals. She played softball, ran cross
country as well as track and field She spent a lot of time with her family hunting, fishing, snow
machining and spending time at their family cabin in the outskirts of Pinedale, WY.
On July 6, 2000, she enlisted in the Utah National Guard as a Combat Medic (91B). Shortly after,
she went to Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and advanced training at Fort Sam
Houston (FSH), TX. She attended the University of Utah’s ROTC program where she graduated
with honors as the Distinguished Military Graduate in December 2002 receiving her Active Duty
Commission as a 2 nd Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.
In April 2003, she reported to her first Active Duty station, 82 nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg,
NC. In August 2003, she deployed to Al Taqaddum, Iraq, as the 782 nd Ambulance Platoon Leader,
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). In December 2003, she was individually selected to
be the Executive Officer for the elite 82 nd Forward Surgical Team (FST) and moved to Fallujah,
Iraq, for the remainder of the deployment. On March 20, 2004, four days prior to redeploying, the
FST’s medical clinic was directly hit by two mortar rounds and one of their surgeons and a medic
were subsequently KIA. That was the day Cori realized she did not have the medical knowledge
to save her brother-in-arms and solidified her decision to become a medical provider so she would
not feel so helpless in the future.
In August 2006, she attended the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) at FSH, and graduated in September 2008 with her Masters in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies. She was then assigned to the 2 nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4 th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO. After passing her national certification in November 2008, she immediately deployed to Diwaniyah, Iraq where she hit the ground running as a new PA and saw her first patient, an IED blast casualty. Halfway through the deployment, she was reassigned to Basrah, Iraq, where she spearheaded the medical transition between US Coalition Forces and the British Army for the last 6 months of her deployment, subsequently working with her old 82 nd FST unit again.
Cori then changed duty stations to Fort Campbell, KY, in January 2011 and was assigned to the 1 st Brigade Combat Team, 101 st Airborne Division, and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, within one month of arriving at Fort Campbell.
In December 2012, she left Active Duty and joined the US Army Reserves with the 7239th Installation Medical Support Unit in Chattanooga, TN. In March 2015, she mobilized for 9 months to Fort Drum, NY, with the 10 th Mountain Division. Finally, in October 2016, she transferred to the Colorado National Guard (CONG), where she is still currently serving. In March 2018, Cori volunteered for a 6-month mobilization to Fort Greely, AK, with the 49 th Ground Missile Defense (GMD). This is when she fell in love with Alaska and all its glory. In her civilian life, Cori works as an Urgent Care PA for the University of Colorado Health.
Cori and her husband, who is also a Veteran, Master Sergeant (MSG) Wesley Wilkerson (US Army), have been married since October 10, 2010 (Yep 10-10-10, easy to remember). They currently reside at “FOB Wilkerson” in Colorado Springs, CO, with their two Service Dogs, Woobie (2016) and Reveille (2018), from our sponsor organization, Labs For Liberty. She is a true outdoors enthusiast, dog lover, and world traveler. She travels anywhere/anytime/any place she absolutely can. She also is an avid runner as it helps her mental health and to manage chronic pain from airborne and deployment injuries, but mostly to keep their two service dogs healthy and their energy levels manageable.
In March 2021, Cori attended our first “All Female Veteran” camp and has since been an integral part of our organization, as she continuously volunteers her time, ideas and expertise whenever needed.