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Daniel Mealey - Darlinghurst

Growing up with the label of 'army brat' turned out to be a badge of honour for former Darlinghurst resident captain Dan Mealey.

Dan travelled around the country with his father who served in the army for forty years, an experience which inspired him to join the military as a medical doctor.

Dan, 38, is now a fulltime army doctor who is currently serving in Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper.

Dan said he is enjoying his deployment to Afghanistan, where he has the opportunity to help save lives.

"Just last year I was completing my residency at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and now I'm here doing my job in an operational environment," he said.

"It’s been the best experience of my entire life," he said.

Dan works alongside a number of Coalition medical staff at the US Air Force Role One medical facility at the Kabul International Airport military base, which provides medical support and emergency medical capability to Kabul based personnel.

"I have lived in eight or nine different countries and worked in multiple areas prior to Afghanistan, but pursuing medicine with the Army has been by far the best experience I have ever had," he said.

Dan, who is posted to the 2nd Close Health Company in Townsville, said the medical team has made him feel right at home.

"The Americans have been extremely hospitable," he said.

"They actually laid down some red carpet and had an Australian flag on the wall for me when I arrived.

"They were extremely keen to see an increased Australian presence in the Coalition hospital."

Dan is only a couple of months into his six-month deployment but has already seen how his role differs from back home and what he will take away from the experience.

"In the hospital environment back home you have a well established and hierarchal clinical chain where there is always somebody to ask or refer to, if things are above my medical skill set," he said.

"However, in a deployed scenario you rely a lot more on what you've learnt through your degree, residency, training and experience to prepare for the situations that may arise.

"The biggest thing I’ll take away from this is the ability to think and act under extreme pressure."

Daniel is one of approximately 400 Australian Defence Force members currently deployed to Afghanistan supporting the ISAF transition to Resolute Support and the train, advise and assist mission.