Corpsmen provide variety of support

Corpsmen provide variety of support

by Lance Cpl. Anne K. Henry
Okinawa Marine Staff

Every military occupational speciality contributes to the overall success of the U.S. military. This is especially true for corpsmen with 3rd Medical Battalion who provide vital medical support to the Marines and sailors of III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Corpsmen with the battalion carry out daily tasks, which involve a wide variety of skills at heightened stress levels, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class James J. Romero, a corpsman with 3rd Med. Bn., 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF.

“The important thing to remember is to always be flexible,” said Romero. “We must always be prepared to fill (unfamiliar) billets.”
Corpsmen earn their namesake after completing training at the Medical Education and Training Campus preceding field medical training. The extensive training is approximately seven weeks long and covers a variety of Marine Corps knowledge, as well as combat lifesaving skills.

“Our initial training consists of an ‘A’ school, which is a few weeks long and tests the corpsman’s proficiency through laboratories and practical applications,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Dennis R. O’Connor, the medical officer in charge of shock trauma platoon with the battalion. “Then we attend the seven-week Marine Corps proficiency training, which is focused primarily on field medicine skills and how to deal with casualities in the field.”

The average day for the corpsmen in garrison is vastly different from that of a deployed environment. When deployed, the corpsmen will follow the same routine as their Marine counterparts, according to Romero.

“When on deployment, we have the same jobs and the same schedules as the Marines,” said Romero. “In garrison, many of us are tasked-out to do various jobs.”

Corpsmen provide mandatory support during almost every significant training evolution. Without it, the Marine Corps mission would be adversely affected.

“Whatever training the Marines are doing, if it requires medical coverage, we are there,” said Romero.

Examples of this training include live-fire exercises, annual rifle and pistol ranges, and both the physical and combat fitness tests, added Romero.

Having a firm understanding of both Marine Corps and Navy knowledge and traditions allows the corpsmen with 3rd Medical Bn. to be a versatile and vital force, according to O’Connor.

“I feel that my corpsmen bring new perspectives to the military by understanding both Marine Corps and Navy traditions,” said O’Connor. “I feel like they perform to exceed the standards that are set for them by providing the best medical support possible.”

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