• BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Kelly, senior enlisted leader, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion, at the Riva Ridge Troop Medical Clinic on Camp Liberty March 5. Dixon flew from the MEDCOM Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas to meet with the Lifeline battalion’s medical Soldiers.

    ArmyAca,!a,,cs top medic visits Aca,!A"LifelineAca,!A? crew

    BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Kelly, senior enlisted leader, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion...

  • BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, speaks with Allentown, Pa. native, Sgt. Adam Funk, a lab technician serving with Company C, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion at the Riva Ridge Troop Medical Clinic on Camp Liberty March 5. Dixon met with Lifeline medical Soldiers to talk about changes in the Army Medical Corps and the responsibilities of medical noncommissioned officers.

    ArmyAca,!a,,cs top medic visits Aca,!A"LifelineAca,!A? crew

    BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, speaks with Allentown, Pa. native, Sgt. Adam Funk, a lab technician serving with Company C, 299th Brigade Support...

  • BAGHDAD – Ann Arbor, Mich. native, Staff Sgt. Randy Maurer (right), a medic serving with Company C, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion, shows the inside of a Heavy Armored Ground Ambulance to Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon, senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, at the Riva Ridge Troop Medical Clinic on Camp Liberty March 5. The Lifeline medical Soldiers working at the TMC gave Dixon a tour of the facility and asked her questions about the Army Medical Corps.

    ArmyAca,!a,,cs top medic visits Aca,!A"LifelineAca,!A? crew

    BAGHDAD – Ann Arbor, Mich. native, Staff Sgt. Randy Maurer (right), a medic serving with Company C, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion, shows the inside of a Heavy Armored Ground Ambulance to Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon, senior...

  • BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, speaks with Spc. Melanie Harris (left), from Corpus Christi, Texas, a medical Soldier serving with Company C, 299th Brigade Support “Lifeline” Battalion, at the Riva Ridge Troop Medical Clinic on Camp Liberty March 5. After a tour of the facility, which treats injuries and illness of deployed Soldiers, Dixon exchanged ideas with the Soldiers and updated them on changes in the medical field.

    ArmyAca,!a,,cs top medic visits Aca,!A"LifelineAca,!A? crew

    BAGHDAD – Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon (right), senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, speaks with Spc. Melanie Harris (left), from Corpus Christi, Texas, a medical Soldier serving with Company C, 299th...

BAGHDAD -With top leaders in the U.S. Army naming 2009 as the "Year of the Noncommissioned Officer," the Army's senior medic flew from Fort Sam Houston, Texas to Camp Liberty to meet with Multi-National Division-Baghdad's Army Medical Corps enlisted leaders and Soldiers.

Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon, senior enlisted advisor to the Army Surgeon General, U.S. Army Medical Command, paid a visit to medical Soldiers serving with the 299th Brigade Support "Lifeline" Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, at the Riva Ridge Troop Medical Clinic on Camp Liberty March 5.

"One of the [reasons for] my visit was to see our medical people and to take a look at the services they are providing. Everybody knows the great medical support the Soldier's get when they are deployed," said Dixon, who was also there to update the troops on what's going on in the Army medical department. "As the senior medic in the Army, I try my best to meet and talk with each and every medical Soldier, or as much of them as I can, and hear their concerns and ideas."

To better understand their own rolls as medical NCOs, Dixon informed the Lifeline leaders about the recently released Army Medicine Strategic Map, which shows the key tactics and objectives for the medical corps in terms of leading, guiding and developing Soldiers.

"I want them to know where they fit in that strategy," said Dixon. "Our mission is to train, develop and equip a medical force that supports full spectrum operations."

Dixon also detailed the various aspects of being a leader in a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), where many Soldiers in the Army's medical field may find themselves working.

WTU's were created in 2007 to provide critical support to Soldiers wounded in combat and are expected to require at least six months of rehabilitation care and mental health management for themselves and their families.

"Working in a WTU is one of the toughest leadership jobs there is. In addition to taking care of injuries and medical problems they are taking care of emotional and family issues," said Dixon. "There are many challenges to being a leader in a WTU; it's not a 'take a knee' kind of job."

Also a stressful but rewarding job, said Dixon, is being a medical Soldier working in combat operations because of the long hours of medical service to Soldiers.

"I am so proud of what these folks are doing out here. They are well trained, they are highly motivated and they are all about service, so I am really pleased at what I have seen so far."

In a deployed environment, Soldiers have to constantly make sure they are "combat-ready" and Dixon said the Soldier-medics are one of the reasons why missions outside of the wire are successful.

Dixon added that sometimes the American people wonder why young people are not afraid to volunteer to serve knowing that they could possibly be deployed in harm's way.

"I think one of the reasons why Soldiers don't hesitate to serve is because if they are deployed and should they become ill or injured, there are great medics out there to make sure that they are taken care of," she said. "Army medicine helps keep the Army Strong."

Page last updated Thu March 19th, 2009 at 14:37