FORT POLK, La. — Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital celebrated the Army Medical Department Civilian Corps 25th Anniversary at the Joint Readiness Center and Fort Polk March 26. The ceremony and awards presentation celebrated the significant contributions of the BJACH civilian workforce.
Guest speaker, J.M. (Jay) Harmon, deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, said he was honored to take part in the celebration. A former colleague and mentor to Col. Jodi Dugai, BJACH commander, Harmon said he wanted to support her and her team during this event.
“The Army Civilian Corps is one of the four cohorts that make up the Army along with commissioned, warrant and non-commissioned officers. I felt it was crucial to remind the civilian work force of the important role they play in Army medicine,” he said. “The contributions they make providing healthcare for Soldiers and their Families on a daily basis is significant and should be recognized.”
While on the installation, Harmon spoke with Brig. Gen. David Doyle, JRTC and Fort Polk commanding general. The leaders discussed the increased opportunities to integrate Army medicine into maneuver and sustainment training operations.
“I think the training that goes on here is what will prepare our warriors for the next battle and medical support is critical to the Soldiers’ morale and welfare,” Harmon said. “Integration of medical units and medical leadership in these training venues is crucial to success.”
Harmon said Army medicine is a huge part of the Army. The MEDCoE motto is “conserve the fighting strength.” He said from a readiness perspective, having medical units closely embedded with fighting units allows Soldiers to be treated quickly in theater and returned to the fight.
“Our mission at the Medical Center of Excellence breaks down into three lines of effort,” Harmon said. “Develop leaders, drive change and inform; inform meaning to own and dominate the information space; and spread the Army’s message about who we are, our culture and what we stand for.”
During his visit, Harmon toured the installation and saw the COVID-19 mitigation measures in place with the North Fort training bubble. He visited medical service officers, pilots and flight medics from C Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment “Cajun Dustoff,” and received trauma casualty care demonstrations at the BJACH medical range.
Harmon visited leaders of the 115th Field Hospital who recently returned from a deployment to Iraq. The field hospital was the first to deploy three times after it converted from a combat support hospital to the force design concept.
Harmon said part of the mission of the center of excellence is to be the customer’s representative by seeking their feedback on Army medical organizational design, training strategies and doctrine. Talking to Soldiers and leaders in the field provides feedback to ensure Army medicine is synchronized with the rest of the Army moving forward to the aim force point of 2035 and large scale operations in a multi-domain environment.
“Establishing relationships is extremely valuable,” he said. “It was great to be back at JRTC and Fort Polk and spend time with all of the medical assets conserving the Warrior Spirit being forged here.”