Medic performs above his grade
Spc. Ronald Boon, senior medic for the Military Transition Team assisting the Provisional Transportation Regiment, 14th Iraqi Army Division, examines a fellow Soldier.

As the mission in Iraq has transitioned to one of fostering political stability and bolstering the Iraqi Security Forces, Military Transition Teams, who embed with and advise the ISF, have played an integral role.

The training they provide is also increasingly important as U.S. troops drawdown, leaving the security of Iraq in the hands of the ISF.

MiTTs are normally composed of senior commissioned and noncommissioned officers who have adequate experience and training to teach, mentor and supervise the Iraqi units they are assigned to. It is unusual to find a Soldier of junior rank with the knowledge and understanding necessary to conduct this training.

For this reason, the recent selection of Spc. Ronald Boon as senior medic for the MiTT assisting the Provisional Transportation Regiment, 14th Iraqi Army Division, is unprecedented.

When the PTR, 14th IA Div., lost their medic, they asked for assistance from Headquarters and Support Company for a Combat Lifesaver class to train their soldiers.

"It was kind of a brief class because of the timeframe we had to teach it," Boon said.
"We only had nine or 10 hours to teach; me and another NCO accomplished that mission in three days."

When the IA medical officer and warrant officer asked for assistance in improving their treatment procedures, Boon was again selected for the task because of his professionalism and demeanor.

"Spc. Boon is training the 14th PTR on establishing medical treatment records for soldiers throughout the regiment," said Master Sgt. Robert Richardson, 2110 MiTT NCO-in-charge.

"He is working on establishing proper sick call procedures and triage," Richardson said. "He is assisting them with identifying their medications and how to properly record and dispense medications. Spc. Boon is doing a lot for the regiment and he is doing it with very little supervision."

When asked what rank or position would be commensurate to his performance, Richardson said he believed the work he was doing was that of a staff sergeant.

"His abilities and knowledge far exceed his current rank," Richardson said. "He is self-motivated and a make-it-happen type of Soldier."

For Boon, It is no big deal.

"I'm just doing my job. I'm just doing what I love to do."

Still, he takes pride in being a part of something significant.

"I feel like I am contributing something to the whole Iraqi mission, " he said when asked about teaching the MiTT teams.

"Being able to teach the Iraqi Army - to know that we're doing some good here - it's sort of a hands-on personal experience, and it feels good."

Training the MiTT teams is not Boon's first teaching experience. In fact, he is rather passionate about teaching.

While pursuing his Forensic Science degree from Michigan State University, Boon taught swimming. He later worked for seven years as a canine handler and trainer with the Michigan State Police before retiring. He also served as a field training officer, teaching the ropes to new recruits during his time as a State Trooper. In 2001, Boon started teaching martial arts classes and self-defense classes to kids and parents.

Since his arrival in Basra, Boon has continued to pursue his passion for teaching.

"I just got approved to teach through Central Texas College here on Basra. I'm still deciding what class I want to put together," he said. "I'm leaning toward forensic science because it's my background."

"I think people would be interested, with all the CSI shows out there, and there are tons of shows on forensics. I can almost call it a CSI class, really," he quipped.

Boon has also recently put together a program to teach a women's self-defense class. He said classes should start in June.

On a couple of occasions Boon acted as a security escort for VIP's visiting Basra, including the Hooters girls and Rick Trevino. He also assisted in the creation of the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Aid Station. He is currently a shift leader, supervising two other medics, and assists the training NCO.

"Spc. Boon has unlimited potential," said Sgt. Brooke Schiebel, Boon's platoon sergeant. "He has the motivation and determination to get the job done and strives to be the best at what he does."
Boon said he enjoys staying active and puts 100 percent into whatever he takes on.

"I apply that to everything I do," he said.

Boon's next goal is to be accepted to the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program, a program that allows enlisted Soldiers to attend college full-time to complete a bachelor's of science in nursing. Upon graduation, Boon would be commissioned as a second lieutenant.

In addition to his career goals, Boon plans to spend more time with his wife, Bethanny, and their two children after the deployment.

"I want to be there more for my son during baseball," he said.

Page last updated Thu May 27th, 2010 at 05:58