Faces From the Front for June 14, 2010 - Capt. Jerry Webb
Current Unit: International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan
Current Position: Senior Medical Mentor to the ANA 209th Corps Surgeon General
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Bryan, Texas
Years of Service: 17
When the opportunity arose to work with the Afghan National Army (ANA) on their medical capabilities, Capt. Jerry Webb jumped at the chance. After serving his first tour in Germany as an operating room nurse, caring for Soldiers, civilians and journalists who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, Webb volunteered for this deployment to Afghanistan, knowing that he could really make a difference on the front lines.
“I knew my number was coming up soon so I volunteered for this mission, so that I could be on the front with the ‘Joes',” Webb explained. “I knew the mission was going to be a mentor role and as a nurse you are always in the mind frame to teach. It seemed like a great fit for me.”
Webb is leading a team of five medics in assisting the ANA's 209th Corps in their endeavor to increase medical readiness throughout northern Afghanistan. In addition, as the senior medical mentor to the 209th Corps Surgeon General, Webb is personally responsible for providing guidance and recommendations to the highest ranking Afghan military medical professional in the northern portion of the country.
“I provide oversight and advice to the ANA regarding their medical system in terms of medical doctrine, logistics, vehicle maintenance, building operations and maintenance, leadership growth and development, and overall medical capability,” Webb said.
As a result of Webb and his team's work, the ANA has implemented many valuable programs that will improve their ability to provide medical care to their Soldiers.
“My team and I have worked hard to develop real usable medical training programs to improve Afghanistan's medical situation,” Webb explained.
“We have developed an Afghan first aid class that utilizes self aid and buddy aid to stop or slow immediate life threatening injuries. My team has been instrumental in the development of an evacuation process that can function entirely within the Afghan military system. We also produced a regionalized combat medic school program, which graduates roughly 50 new Afghan medics every eight weeks. These programs will help improve Afghanistan's medical readiness in the very near future.”
Throughout his deployment, Webb has worked closely with members of the ANA and has developed strong relationships with these men. He realizes the success of his work in Afghanistan is reliant not only on his own team, but also on their Afghans counterparts.
“I work hard to improve the ANA's medical assets and that hard work has been rewarded by the Afghans reciprocating the same hard work. When I see one of my Afghan brothers working as hard as any member of my team then I know we are heading in the right direction.”
Webb knows that his work is important and is helping the U.S. Army to accomplish its mission in Afghanistan.
“As medical professionals we are preparing the ANA to care for their own Soldiers so that one day soon we may bring ours home,” Webb said.
Webb will return home to Bryan, Texas this fall. He plans to spend time with his wife and three children, before returning to his collegiate studies and his work as an operating room nurse at College Station Medical Center.
“Once I have had ample time to reconnect with my family I will restart school at Texas A&M Health Science Center. I only have three semesters left at the Health Science Center to graduate with my bachelor's degree in nursing,” Webb said.
In addition, Webb looks forward to spending time with his colleagues from College Station Medical Center, who have been there for him throughout his deployment.
“My friends at College Station Medical Center have been a great family support group,” Webb explained. “The people who work in the operating room at College Station Medical Center have sent numerous care packages and have been an awesome, encouraging resource to me and my team here in Afghanistan.”