Maj. Gen. Sargent says Advocates create Soldiers new "Why"
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition

TAMPA, Fla. - Mark Twain once said, "The two most important things in life are the day you were born and the day you figured out why." Maj. Gen. Patrick Sargent, Deputy Commanding General for Operations, U.S. Army Medical Command, concluded the 7th Annual Army Wounded Warrior Directorate Training in Tampa, Florida with prose and purpose for the 185 advocates in attendance from around the world.

"In your job, you know the life ambitions that the aspirations of the majority of our men and women in uniform had before they were injured, so guess what you got to do at some point? You as advocates have to create a new why," said Sargent.

That new why is an important part of the road to recovery that Advocates guide Soldiers through. Sargent applauded the week long training the advocates just completed, learning best practices and better ways to take care of Soldiers and families as it helps Army Medicine honor their promise to care for our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

During his talk he also shared information on pending changes coming to Army Medicine, Health Care Delivery and Health Care Service. As complex an issue as it is, he made this promise to the advocates about their Soldiers when it comes to all the new changes.

"We are not going to have anything that is going to have a negative impact on Warrior Care," he said. Sargent believes the AW2 training goes a long way in helping that to happen.

"When you talk about the Army of 2028 and you start looking at the complexities of the battlefield, and you look at the lethality, you talk about the weapons systems and the range of injuries that have taken place in the last 16 years; it just multiplies that exponentially. That's what we are looking at if we have near peer fighting and that will also include casualties and [those killed in action].We would have to mobilize our civilian hospitals because casualties will be much higher," Sargent explained.

"Part of reaching that goal is through relationship building in communities to support our Soldiers," said Sargent.

"You have to be that bridge of humanity that brings us into the local community," Sargent encouraged as he recognized the myriad of things advocates do to be the "go to point" for their Soldiers. He left the stage with one final request and a point of importance perhaps giving advocates an additional "why" for themselves.

"As an ambassador for the Army, I will tell you we need you to open more doors than you close. We need you to be an ambassador for our Army because the testimony our Surgeon General gives talking about the nature and characteristics of Army Medicine, it includes you guys. You are an essential part of Army medicine."