How To Become A Combat Medic – 1 / 4 Show Subtitles + Hide Subtitles – Spc. Leannah TeKrony, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, Combat Medical Specialist, participates in Operation Atlantic Resolve in Grafenwohr, Germany, Jan. 30, 2020. It is important to develop interoperability with allies and partners to maintain trust… (Photo Credit: AS ) VIEW ORIGINAL
2 / 4 Show subtitles + Hide subtitles – Spc. Leannah TeKrony, Combat Medical Specialist, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, treats minor injuries while in the field during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Grafenwohr, Germany, January 30, 2020. Combined Resolve is an exercise to help… (Photo Credit : AS ) VIEW ORIGINAL
How To Become A Combat Medic
3 / 4 Show subtitles + Hide subtitles – Spc. Leannah TeKrony, Combat Medical Specialist, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, demonstrates how to properly apply a tourniquet during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Grafenwohr, Germany, Jan. 30, 2020. The readiness of the U.S. and participating nations… ( Photo Credit: US) VIEW ORIGINAL
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4 / 4 Show subtitles + Hide subtitles – Spc. Leannah TeKrony, Combat Medical Specialist, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, performs a preventative maintenance and service check on her medical bag during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Grafenwohr, Germany, January 30, 2020. It is important to develop… (Photo Credit : AS ) VIEW ORIGINAL
GRAFENWOHR, Germany – A female combat medic from the small town of Estelline, South Dakota, was assigned to the 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Grafenwohr.
Sp. Leannah TeKrony has been interested in the medical and military fields since childhood.
“It started when I was about 8 years old,” TeKrony said. I have a lot of respect for military personnel and I have a doctor’s outfit with a stethoscope, so I will pretend to be a military doctor.”
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“When I was younger, I didn’t understand that women could join the military at that time,” TeKrony said. “As I got older, I realized there were things like the National Guard and more and more military occupational specialties that were open to women. There came a time when I realized I can do that.”
“It was kind of scary for me because I knew if I went to the recruiting office, I would be in the mix,” TeKrony said. “After talking to recruiters a few times, I felt a deep calling and knew this was what I wanted to do, especially if I could get into the medical field.”
During initial training, TeKrony received three of the highest honors: Iron Medic, Leadership Award and Distinguished Honor Grad, and was selected for his significant leadership role in training.
“It’s a pretty tough course,” TeKrony said. “It was the first time in my life that I was really recognized for doing what I thought was right. I felt so humbled and honored.”
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TeKrony then found himself attached to the 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, where he conducted successive deployments, one at a time for each battery.
“I never wanted to just be in South Dakota,” TeKrony said. “I never want to be stuck in one place, that’s why this deployment is so great. I love going to different places and doing and seeing different things.”
“Some of the things I learned in the first round are that you have to use the feeling you have when you don’t know, and that makes you uncomfortable,” TeKrony said. “I use it to motivate myself to look for answers and ask others for help.”
While serving as a combat medic, a soldier learns many medical procedures that most civilian nurses are not allowed to perform.
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“I’ve done stitches, removed cysts, removed toenails, cut warts on my feet and fingers,” TeKrony said. “It’s surprising, because often the government service is the only service provider that is allowed to do something like this.”
“I’ve really been interested in a lot of specialties in my life,” TeKrony said. “After being here, I definitely want to work in the ER; but there’s a part of me that wants to go to a more dangerous place to take care of everyday things, whether it’s in a hospital. or civil parties.”
TeKrony strongly encourages anyone interested in entering the medical field to join the National Guard as a combat medicine specialist.
“This will be a great stepping stone to a medical career,” TeKrony said. “Not only will you gain exposure to the military side, but you will also gain experience that you can transfer to the civilian side.”2 / 6 Show caption + Hide caption – A future combat medic practices his skills in one of two renovated training rooms in the Combat Medical Training Department. Students must learn to complete combat casualty assessments, apply tourniquets, initiate live IVs, and dr… (Photo Credit: AS) VIEW ORIGINAL
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5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A soldier performs chest decompression with a needle on a simulator to treat a collapsed lung as part of his combat medical training at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Approximately 6,800 soldiers will attend the Department of Combat Medical Training… (Photo Credit: AS) SEE ORIGINAL
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – The Combat Medical Training Division at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is responsible for training the 68 Whiskey Healthcare Specialists, better known as combat medics.
Although specific courses are taught through the Medical Education and Training Campus, the curriculum is drawn from the Center’s medical departments and schools.
After the infantry, there are currently approximately 39,000 National Guard reserve and combat medics on active duty. Approximately 6,800 soldiers will participate in DCMT this year.
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“Combat medics taking this course will do everything from reporting early morning illnesses to treating the most serious battlefield injuries,” said Lt. Col. Rob Hennessy, DCMT director. “Our courses provide medics with the skills needed to save lives on the battlefield and assist medics in caring for soldiers in a unit.”
Once soldier medics complete the course, many of them are assigned to infantry units, which may already have been deployed.
“If a casualty can survive from the battlefield to a combat support hospital, they have a 98 percent chance of survival,” said Donald Parsons, deputy director of DCMT. “Combat medics play a critical role in the survival of wounded victims on the battlefield.”
“Saving people’s lives… you can’t beat that,” said Pfc. Andrew Hardaway, who is currently training to become a combat medic.
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Fellow students Pvt. Jessica Elder agrees. “I chose to become a doctor because I think saving people’s lives is the best job. Society always needs medical personnel.”
Elder said he wants to become a physician assistant and that this course will advance his career.
During the first seven weeks of the course, soldiers learn to become emergency medical technicians. This is the same training that civilians must complete to become EMTs.
Before students can advance to the next phase of the course, they must pass the National Registry EMT exam.
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About 85 percent passed the first exam, the lieutenant colonel explained. Students are given three attempts, after which the success rate increases to approximately 97 percent.
“The national average graduation rate among citizens aged 17 to 21, who make up the majority of our students, is 64 percent.”
“It gives them step-by-step instructions on how to care for the patient,” Parsons said. “The sheet tells them how to treat the injury and gives them a time frame to complete the treatment.”
The students practice their skills on human patient simulators. These simulators cost about $50,000 each and can move eyes and legs, speak, breathe and even bleed.
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“The simulator simulates real battlefield injuries that students would not otherwise experience. “We couldn’t fit them all in the trauma room at Brooke Medical Center,” Hennessy said.
DCMT recently revamped two training areas designed to mimic the environments soldiers may encounter when deployed. One of the areas resembles an Afghan village. Others are similar to the mountainous areas of Afghanistan.
“It’s more realistic,” said instructor Sgt. 1st Class Chimera Richardson. “It puts them in a certain mood about what they will see on the battlefield. They come here and really gain practical experience.”
The room was dark and filled with smoke. Loud music played and strobe lights flickered as students worked on human patient simulators scattered around the room. Occasionally gunshots rang in their ears.
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“The simulator is automatic. It gives students the feeling of working with real people,” said instructor Staff Sgt. Alex Jensen.
Students must learn how to complete combat casualty assessments, apply tourniquets, initiate live IVs, and dress the most serious wounds on the battlefield.
The medics also learn complex medical procedures, such as how to perform an emergency cricothyroidotomy, which involves cutting the airway in the patient’s throat, and how to perform an emergency cricothyroidotomy.
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