Preserving Our Past, Capitalizing on the Present, Embracing the Future

The Army Nurse Corps Officer Who Died at Ground Zero on 9/11/01

© Constance J. Moore
Colonel, ANC (Retired), ANCA Historian


Michael D. MullanArmy Nurse Corps Reservist Captain Michael D. Mullan demonstrated selfless service when he lost his life while serving in his civilian job as a firefighter in New York City Fire Department Ladder Company 12 on September 11, 2001. Captain Mullan was a fifteen-year US Army Reserve veteran who had enlisted as a medic, and after attending nursing school was accessed as a Nurse Corps officer. His Reserve unit was the 344th Combat Support Hospital, Ft. Totten, NY.

On that fateful day, Captain Mullan was conducting rescue operations at the Marriott Hotel, which stood between the two Twin Towers. He had reached the nineteenth floor of the hotel and was assisting victims to lower floors when the first of the towers fell, blowing out windows and doors of the hotel and knocking firefighters down the stairwells. Word immediately went out to evacuate the building. Captain Mullan had started to exit when on his way down he received a "Mayday" distress call from two other firefighters on floors above him. Instead of evacuating immediately, he courageously volunteered to get them. Soon after, the second tower fell and tore off most of the face of the Marriott, exposing the stairwell to the outside. Captain Mullan was one of four firefighters from Ladder 12 who did not escape.

He was the epitome of a citizen-soldier who loved being a weekend warrior. Mullan was an emergency room nurse, and had ambitions to train as a nurse practitioner. He also was a practical joke prankster who held a black belt in karate, played piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, and adored his family immensely. He is a great loss to those who loved him, those who worked with him, and those who live in New York and in the United States of America.