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Corpsmen prepare for combat

3 Apr 2009 | Pfc. Jeremy Fasci 1st Marine Division


Corpsmen and medical officers from 1st Marine Division units learned about the stress of giving medical aid to Marines before ever deploying when they attended the Combat Trauma Management course here Mar. 23-Apr. 3.

Corpsman throughout the Division are required to attend this course prior to deploying. During the course, the corpsmen will see blood squirting, hear roleplayers screaming and experience the stress of “losing” a patient while doing the practical application portion of the CTM.

“The main goal of the course is to build a more confident and more efficient corpsman in stressful situations,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Andy L. Chase, 22, a Navy corpsman and an instructor for the CTM course.

The students in the course were tasked with missions that were developed from many of the instructors personal experiences.

“We try to take missions from our own personal experience to put them through,” said Chase who is from Eugene, Ore.

The experience the instructors brought helped them relay the information to the students.

“The instructors have been through this stuff, so they know what its like,” said Lt. j.g. Melissa Liwanag, 28, a student in the course from San Diego. “They tell stories and give hands on training to help us better understand the situations we are going through.”

The type of training taught during the course is unmatched by anything else these corpsman are put through.

“This is the best training I have received since I joined,” said Seaman Apprentice Jason Catano, 21, a student in the course and a corpsman with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, from Boynton, Fla. “After this course, I feel 100 percent more confident than I did before this training.”

The situations that the student are put through will help them while on their upcoming deployments with infantry units.

“They teach the basics here, but you can take knowledge from this course and apply it to any situation you encounter,” said Seaman Baron J. Ochoa, 20, a student in the course and a corpsman with 2nd Bn., 5th Marine Regiment, from Coronado, Fla. “I like how raw it is, but it’s not unrefined. The ability of the instructors to step outside the box with their teaching methods helps because you’re going to be in situations that have no precise way to deal with.”

With all of their experience, the instructors give a good example of how a corpsman should operate in the field.

“They are good role models because they prepare you physically and mentally as well as show you how to do things and explain why it needs to be done,” said Liwanag.

1st Marine Division