By Staff Sgt. Felix FimbresMay 10, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Army Reserve Soldiers are stepping up with their medical expertise to ensure the Army is ready to deploy. Operation Reserve Care, an initiative that took place at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 4, 2019, aims to ensure medical personnel not only have the experience they need but that Soldiers maintain their health and readiness.
"We're here the first weekend of every month. On average, we treat between 200 and 300 Soldiers a week," said Maj. Tamera Snider, officer-in-charge of Operation Reserve Care.
The 7459th and 7458th Medical Backfill Battalions provide a variety of medical services, from health assessments to dental treatments, without appointments. The services are provided after work hours on Friday until Sunday evening. This affords busy Soldiers, from every component, a chance to see medical professionals outside the normal work week.
"It's more convenient for me to make it during the weekend because I'm in school during the week," said Spc. Sabrina Jackson, a full-time student at the Paul Mitchell School and a member of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment. "It's very well organized ... and [the staff] is really nice, respectful, and professional."
Jackson said she feels comfortable with the staff because of their knowledge and the efficient way they take care of things.
"It really is a one-stop shop; you come here and get everything done, and when you leave, you don't have to worry about making additional appointments or going other places to get things done," she said.
Snider said Operation Reserve Care is still in its trial phase for providing services two times per month, but the goal is to expand the mission. This is not only to ensure readiness but to help provide Army Reserve Soldiers with valuable hands-on training.
"We'd like to replicate what we're doing here on other bases so we can decrease the time Soldiers miss from their civilian jobs while increasing their readiness. We need to do this so they can be ready to deploy at any time."
Snider said everything has been going according to plan and that their staff, in providing services to the Soldiers, are getting a continued education piece that helps drive them in their careers.
"Operation Reserve Care has given me a chance to maintain my nursing skills," 2nd Lt. Jessica McLaughlin said. "I feel good knowing that I'm helping Soldiers stay ready to go out on the battlefield."