Captain Nathan Cowell
Captain Nathan Cowell, having grown wary of his stint as a ship's Captain, now takes up the mantle of Chief Medical Officer aboard Starbase 38. With his new position, Capt. Cowell is able to return to his roots as a physician, and help the local population of Cadets learn the skills they will need to survive the rigors of Delta Quadrant Service.
Nathan Cowell was born on the El-Aurian home world, though not under the name he currently uses, in the late 1700s of Earth’s calendar. He spent 70 years of his ‘youth’ on his home world studying Medicine until wanderlust took him and he set out to explore the galaxy. For nearly a decade, Nathan visited numerous inhabited worlds, learning languages and absorbing the cultures around him until he felt the urge to move on. Late in the year 1857, Nathan arrived on Earth and became completely enthralled with the rustic feel of the pre-Industrial age American culture. With his already extensive knowledge in the field of Medicine, Nathan decided he would take up shop in a small suburb outside of Richmond, Virginia. A few years later, the American Civil War erupted, plunging his once peaceful home into a blood battle pitting brothers against brothers.
In 1861, Doc Cowell offered his services to the Union Army at the behest of some of his patients whose husbands, brothers, and the like had already been drafted or volunteered to fight. He entered in October and received a Commission at the rank of Second Lieutenant, being put in charge of a small triage camp attached to a front line Virginia unit. Throughout the war, Nathan labored behind the front lines helping the wounded, comforting the sick, and administering to the overall welfare of anyone who found themselves in his triage tent. On more than one occasion during the war, Nathan himself was forced to join in the fighting, whether because of an ambush during a move or a camp being overrun. Though it didn’t happen every time he took up a rifle, it became something of a tradition that Doc Cowell had to patch himself up before stitching up the rest of the troops around him, the scars of which he would bare for the rest of his life by choice rather than necessity. At the end of the War, Major Nathan Cowell was presented with a ceremonial pistol and saber from General Ulysses S. Grant for his service to the Union. Doc Cowell returned home after the war to reopen his practice, though he did not remain too long. It became obvious to his friends and neighbors that Nathan seemed unusually youthful despite the passage of time. In the spring of 1884, Nathan departed Virginia and moved east, finally finding a home in a small patch of land near several small towns just starting out. He made a good living as a traveling physician, even if he took a home cooked meal over money more often than not. It took him until 1896 to finally open an office, which he did in Kansas City. Not long after, the Spanish-American War broke out, though Doc Cowell declined to get involved, electing instead to remain where he was to tend to the people that had been left behind.
The next 15 years were spent slowly moving west as his reputation for being extremely long lived continued to hound him. Though the never stopped practicing the medical arts, Cowell lost interest in setting up shop anywhere, content to make his living on the road. There were several points in that time that he would no sooner make it in to town then he was planning to leave. Nathan’s wanderlust landed him in Sacramento California in 1913, where he laid down temporary roots as he had lost the urge to travel. The next year, World War I broke out, and again the call for able men went out all over the country. Though he resisted having to leave, Doc Cowell again donned the uniform of an Army doctor and entered into the service of the United States. His first year in the Army was actually enjoyable, he found himself at a recruiting depot in the States screening potential troops before they enlisted.
In late 1915, Captain Cowell was sent to Great Britain to run one of several Army hospitals just outside of London. His tenure at the hospital was relatively uneventful despite his proximity to the fighting. Lt. Colonel Cowell didn’t find himself on the front lines until 1917 when he was assigned to the First Infantry Division’s head physician. Nathan served out the duration of the War with 1st ID before leaving Europe and the Army, to disappear into the plains of Southern Colorado. During his time there, he met a woman who would later become his wife, a girl by the name of Elizabeth Green. The couple was never able to have children due to Elizabeth’s inability to bear children. This did not in any way tarnish their happiness as a couple, however, even if their time spent together came with its own brand of hardships. One such obstacle was Nathan’s font of perpetual youthfulness, something that he couldn’t simply move away from to remedy. Elizabeth became the first person to learn of his extraterrestrial nature; though it didn’t deter her from being with him it did account for some of their differences in opinion when arguments occurred.
Before their 20th year of marriage, World War II drew the country into the thick of conflict. This conflict spilled over into the Cowell household as his wife seemed to show more patriotism than Nathan did. Being the patriot that she was, Elizabeth insisted that Nathan move with her to the East Coast, where jobs for women, and even opportunities for enlistment were abound. Having served in two wars already, Nathan was far from keen on going along with the idea, which eventually led to the couple splitting up. Though Nathan did everything in his power to avoid the draft, he finally found himself shuffled off to an Army training camp very much against his will in 1942. It didn’t take the Army long to take note of his prowess as both a medic and a leader regardless of his reluctance to be enlisted. In late 1943, Nathan found himself being promoted to Company First Sergeant in recognition of not only his prowess in combat but his ability to bolster morale in even the most demoralizing of situations. Just before the end of the year, Nathan was given a field commission in response to the company’s CO succumbed to weapons fire during an intense firefight defending a town from Nazi troops. As the war wore on, Second Lieutenant Cowell became Major Cowell as he and his men continued to fight their way to victory in the European front. Nathan declined an offer from his battalion commander to remain in country after the war, opting to return home and return to a trade that he’d abandoned for nearly thirty years.
The five years spent from the end of World War II and the Korean War was peaceful enough, even if Nathan had to basically start from scratch in the medical circles. By the time the Korean War did break out, Doc Cowell found himself recalled to service in the Army thanks to his neglecting to resign his commission rather than simply separating. The Army did, however, take notice of his medical expertise, sending him to a medical unit rather than an infantry unit that he might otherwise have sent to had he not resumed his practice of medicine. He was placed in charge of a front line Medical Triage unit, where he spent the entire span of the war in command of. By 1953, Nathan had been promoted to full Colonel, which was the highest rank he’d ever been promoted to in all his years in the military.
After his return to the states, Doc Cowell returned to the States and settled in the frozen tundra of Alaska, where he would remain until the Vietnam War broke out. When it did, Nathan decided it was time to depart Earth and return to his people rather than have to serve a fifth stint in the service of a military organization. The years spent between the 1960s and the 2200s remains a mystery to everyone but Nathan, who has declined to speak of those years.
In 2293, Nathan Cowell returned to Earth after having been rescued by the USS Enterprise-B along with 46 other El-Aurian refugees that had been caught in the Nexus ribbon. His return to Earth was rather anti-climactic. Everything that he had known about the places he once lived had changed drastically, leaving the man rather lost as to what he would do with himself. He did, however, find that his old home in Alaska had been left untouched, thanks in part to the improvements he’d made to it as well as its remote location. The paraphernalia he’d collected during his time in the American military tugged at the man’s heart, the names and faces of the men and eventually the women that he’d served with flooding his mind as he was made to remember where he’d gotten the many things he’d collected and how those days had influenced who he was.
Civil War Chronology
1861-1863: 2nd Lieutenant/1st Lieutenant/Captain; Field Surgeon; Union Army, Army of the Potomac
1863-1865: Captain/Major; Lead Field Surgeon; Union Army, Army of the Potomac
World War I Chronology
1914-1915: 2nd Lieutenant/1st Lieutenant/Captain; Army Recruit Depot Examiner; United States Army
1915-1917: Captain/Major/Lieutenant Colonel; Hospital Administrator, London Field Hospital; United States Army
1917-1918: Lieutenant Colonel; Head Doctor, 1st Infantry Division; United States Army
World War II Chronology
1942: Private; Field Medic; United States Army
1942-1943: Corporal/Sergeant/First Sergeant; Medic/Company First Sergeant; United States Army
1943-1945: First Sergeant/2nd Lieutenant/1st Lieutenant/Captain/Major; Company First Sergeant/Company Commander; United States Army
Korean War Chronology
1950-1953: Major/Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel; Front Line Triage Hospital Administrator; United States Army
2303-2304: Cadet, First Year; General Studies; Starfleet Academy
2304-2305: Cadet, Second Year; Pre-Med; Starfleet Academy
2305-2306: Cadet, Third Year; Medical Studies; Starfleet Academy
2306-2307: Cadet, Fourth Year; Medical Studies; Starfleet Academy
2307-2309: Ensign; Medical Internship; Starfleet Medical
2309-2313: Ensign/Lieutenant Junior Grade; General Practice Physician; USS Lexington NCC-1709 (Constitution Class)
2313-2319: Lieutenant Junior Grade/Lieutenant; Head Physician, General Practice; USS Repulse NCC-2544 (Excelsior Class)
2319-2326: Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander; Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Victory NCC-9754 (Constellation Class)
2326-2335: Lieutenant Commander; Chief Medical Officer; USS Brattain NCC-21166 (Miranda Class)
2335-2347: Lieutenant Commander; Chief Medical Officer; USS Excalibur NCC-26517 (Ambassador Class)
2347-2358: Commander; Instructor, General Practice Medicine; Starfleet Medical
2358-2366: Captain; Chief Instructor, General Practice Medicine; Starfleet Medical
2366-2371: Captain; Dean of Medicine; Starfleet Academy
2371-2373: Inactive Captain
2373-2375: Captain; Commanding Officer; USS Nobel NCC-55012 (Olympic Class)
2375-2381: Captain; Commanding Officer; USS Bellerophon NCC-74705 (Intrepid Class)
2381-2386: Captain; Commanding Officer; USS Monitor NCC-61826 (Nebula Class)
2386: Captain; Commanding Officer; USS Arizona NCC-77021 (Prometheus Class)
Mid 2386: Commodore; Commanding Officer; USS Arizona NCC-77021 (Prometheus Class)
Late 2386: Rear Admiral; Commanding Officer; USS Arizona NCC-77021 (Prometheus Class)
2387: Admiral; Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command
Late 2388: Captain; Commanding Officer; USS Arizona NCC-77021 (Sovereign Class)
In 2303, Nathan Cowell entered Starfleet Academy, deciding that he would once more take up medicine and reclaim the feeling of belonging and family that he had all but forgotten in his years away from Earth. Despite his hundreds of years of experience, medicine continued to change over the years and even Nathan had a good deal to learn. His Academy stint lasted six full years, two years longer than any Cadet not pursuing medicine. By the end of his residency, Nathan had become something of the ‘old man’ of his class, which earned him the long standing moniker of ‘Doc’ that he’d heard many times before by an innumerable host of people in his life. Doc Cowell was sent out into the fleet to take up his craft on a Constitution Class vessel that had not long ago received the refit that most of the older vessels of the class had been going through over the years.
His time on the Lexington was like a homecoming to the Doc, he’d missed the companionship of a unit out in the field and he thrived in the environment. While he didn’t get involved in most of the ship’s missions, there were plenty of times where he showed his prowess and rose above his peers in his skill and diligence. He was promoted and soon after transferred to an Excelsior Class vessel, the USS Repulse, where he was placed in charge of the General Practice division of the medical department. Though it was not a position that carried with it a large amount of responsibility, it didn’t stop Doc Cowell from earning respect from his peers and a promotion for his efforts.
In late 2319, the USS Victory, a Constellation Class ship, found itself in need of an Assistant Chief Medical Officer. Her Captain had dealt with Doc Cowell when he’d first joined the Lexington, where she served as the Chief of Engineering at the time. Captain Ballantine invited the man to the ship, an offer that Nathan couldn’t turn down, more for the change of pace than a lack of love for being on the Repulse. His tenure aboard was a smooth one, the ship completing dozens of missions and exploratory assignments without much in the way of strife.
In 2326, an offer came down the pipe to take up a position as Chief Medical Officer, which suited the man perfectly. He’d wanted the chance to run a sickbay according to his own personality for a rather long time. The USS Brattain, a Miranda Class ship operating near the Klingon Border, provided him with plenty of chances to affect the lives of his crew, but it also began to give him his somewhat gruff exterior, as the newer officers coming through his sickbay were starting to get cocky and headstrong, listening more to their own egos than their elders. When another ship put in a request for his services, Doc Cowell accepted without a second thought, hoping that his new ship would be filled with less cocky officers than the last.
The Ambassador Class USS Excalibur started off as being the ship he’d hoped for, mainly due to the majority of ‘old guard’ officers that still served. It wasn’t until near the end of his tour there that most of them retired from service, being replaced with younger officers who had the same failings in his eyes that the Brattain crew was suffering from. He was asked to take the Bridge Officer Qualification Test during his tenure, a requirement for him to be promoted to Commander.
Not long after being promoted, Doc Cowell solicited a job as an instructor at Starfleet Medical, an environment he hoped would be more receptive to respecting his wealth of knowledge and experience that he didn’t seem to get in the regular fleet anymore. His application was accepted, and he spent the next 9 years teaching cadets coming through on their internships the ins and outs of general practice medicine. He found his niche while at Starfleet Medical, and just before his tenth year instructing, he was handed a promotion and leadership of the entire General Practice staff to mold as he saw fit. Eight years more under his leadership saw the General practice section of the facility turn into one of the most popular though the most difficult to graduate from. It was Doc Cowell’s opinion that a good doctor had to know a little bit of everything, and General Medicine meant becoming a renaissance man of medicine.
In 2366, Captain Cowell was asked to take over as the Dean of Medicine, as part of the board at Starfleet Academy. His rigid adherence to his personal ethics and ideas regarding the integrity and purpose of the doctor in any military organization. His tenure as Dean ended in 2373 when Doc Cowell felt he’d done everything he could. He bid farewell to what had become his home over the years and departed for his ‘old’ home in Alaska to enjoy what would be only a brief break in service.
The Dominion War pushed the issue that there were far fewer experienced Commanders in the fleet than in years past. The response to this deficiency was to recall the ones that were still fit for duty. Even Captain Cowell, who was rapidly approaching 600, was still in good enough shape to return to service.
Though Captain Cowell was qualified to take command of a vessel, he had never actually done so, and his first command was far from perfect. His penchant for spending more time in sickbay than on the bridge of the USS Nobel, an Olympic Class hospital ship dedicated to tending the wounded after major battles with Dominion forces created a good deal of tension and derisiveness between the medical staff as well as with the First Officer. His second command went far better than the first, as Nathan had found his ‘groove’ and finally removed himself from the sickbay compartment. The USS Bellerophon, a relatively new Intrepid Class ship, was sent on missions of mercy as well as exploratory missions both in the area around Cardassian territory and the Gamma Quadrant right near the wormhole’s exit point.
Starfleet had intended to promote Captain Cowell to Commodore after his six year tour on the Bellerophon, but Nathan had just regained his passion for being out and about and declined the offer. In consolation, Nathan was given command of the USS Monitor, a Nebula Class ship with a rich history and a good crew who did nothing but prosper under his leadership, even if they had to break through his grouchy disposition first. Four years going hither and yon on missions ranging from diplomatic to combative proved to Starfleet Command in no uncertain terms that old Doc Cowell was an asset that they could use in missions far more important than simple gopher and clean up runs.
At the turn of the year 2386, Nathan was called back to Starfleet Command to take over a recently refurbished Prometheus Class vessel, the USS Arizona, after it had been badly damaged a year prior on what would have been its maiden voyage had it not ended in disaster. During his year spent as the Commanding Officer of the Arizona, Nathan experienced a wide range of events that changed him fundamentally. With the loss of not only several members of the senior staff but the total loss of the Prometheus Class USS Arizona, Doc Cowell had to face the fact that his crew meant more to him than he ever let on. It was during this time that Starfleet decided that a man of his experience belonged not on the front line but behind a desk. Three promotions into the Admiralty saw the man finally removed from the bridge of the ship he had come to call home.