CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - Sgt. 1st Class Robert Tackett, medical platoon sergeant, 1st Battalion, 185th Armor, 16th Sustainment Brigade, trains his Soldiers weekly to ensure their skills meet military, civilian and real-world requirements.

Tackett is the primary instructor for all medical classes in the 1st Bn., 185th Armor.

"This training keeps the medical section up-to-speed on all [the] new emergency medical information and validates their medic's skills, to include skills such as initiating an intravenous infusion (IV); evaluating a casualty; recognizing and treating a casualty for shock; and packaging and transporting a casualty, just to name a few," Tackett said. "Medics must not only be experts in their lifesaving craft, but they must also be proficient enough to teach combat lifesavers. Soldiers must learn some of these same critical skills in order to assist the medics with real-world casualties."

The "Scalpel" medical platoon understands that lives may be on the line at any given moment, said 1st Lt. Ty Roseberry, physician's assistant. Roseberry and Tackett conduct weekly refresher training in order to keep skills honed to a scalpel's edge. These medics not only meet their individual Soldier skills and requirements, they also are required to keep their civilian emergency medical technician (EMT) licenses current. "Doc" Roseberry approves the training and supervises while ensurig the skills meet all military, civilian and real-world requirements.

To professionally develop and enforce basic combat lifesaver skills, company medics teach the combat lifesaver re-certification class on a weekly basis under the guidance of Tackett.

"This training is vital for the peace of mind which comes without a shadow of a doubt. If you are seriously injured, your battle buddy- trained by the medics - will be the first one to help you," Tackett said. "The medic will immediately continue treatment with more advanced life-saving skills and equipment. We have had our medics tested with real-world injuries and illnesses, and our medics have proved their mettle."

By Capt. Renato Rossignoli, UPAR, 1st Battalion, 185th Armor
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