[CAMP PARKS, Calif.] The senior advisor to the Medical Readiness and Training Command toured the MRTC’s Regional Training Site here Jan. 19 for discussions with the RTS-MED staff and a tour of the site’s 32-bed mock-up of an Army Field Hospital.
“My visit here shows that you have a professional organization here,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Fulmer.
There are two other RTS-MED sites operated by MRTC, a one-star organization that falls under the Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Florida. The different sites are at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and Fort Hunter Liggett, California.
Among other missions, RTS-MED personnel provide training and equipment support to the Global Medic exercises, the premier Army medical training events held annually at Fort McCoy and Fort Hunter Liggett.
Fulmer, who attended his Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, or ANOC, here, said the RTS-Medical staff is geared up for the coming exercise season.
“They are committed to the success of the Soldiers, so they can get out and do tough, realistic training in a controlled environment to get after those building SOPs,” the command sergeant major said. SOP is Army shorthand for standard operating procedures.
When he was meeting with the staff, Fulmer said he talked up the RTS-MED program at a recent conference on combat medics, also known as 68 Whiskeys.
“I pushed our course catalog out to them,” he said. “I said: ‘Hey, we got a school code. Use it.’” The school code means that the RTS-MED training is authorized Army training.
The RTS-MED training school code in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System, or ATRRS, is MRTC 930F. Soldiers, civilians and unit training personnel can search for all of the RTS-MED individual and collective medical sustainment and functional courses that are authorized for fiscal year 2025.
For the 68-series Soldiers, there are follow-on sustaining instruction for biomedical equipment specialists, 68A; operating room specialist, 68D; dental specialist, 68E; patient administration specialist; 68G; medical logistics specialist, 68J; medical laboratory specialist, 68K; nutrition care specialist, 68M; radiology specialist, 68P and pharmacy specialist, 68Q.
RTS-MED also provides evidence-based clinical training using state-of-the-art simulation equipment, which give students high-fidelity human and veterinary medical manikins and cut suits worn by a role player and allow students to perform point-of-injury and surgical tasks.
At the field hospital site, students practice their clinical skills and internalize the unique battle rhythms of a deployed tactical facility. In the Role 1 training room, students practice and provide tactical casualty care in the tactical context.
Beyond the medical instruction, the RTS-MED offers maintenance classes on the military equipment authorized for an Army Field Hospital. This training includes the maintenance, diagnostic and administrative tasks associated the equipment, and the clinical training manager coordinates with commanders to build unit-specific instruction.
The command sergeant major also told the staff he promoted their ability to travel and provide training at the unit.
"I did put a plug out there—and I do apologize—I stressed the mobile training teams because it's an opportunity—by getting to those installations, it is more cost-efficient than bringing 100 Soldiers here," he said.
"I'm hoping I generate more work because sometimes generating more work generates more resources allocated," Fulmer said.
“Everybody’s got the same end-state, which is to make the RTS-MED, MRTC and Army medicine better,” he said.
Chapman: RTS-MED provides Army medical professionals with training sustainment
The RTS-MED site commander, Lt. Col. Danielle "Danni" Leone, said her team provides essential training.
“I am totally going to mess up the quote, but we don’t rise to the level expected of us. We fall to the level of our training. It’s like that muscle memory,” Leone said.
The Jamestown, New York, native said many Army Reserve medical Soldiers, especially enlisted Soldiers, do not work in the medical field on the civilian side of life, so their coming through RTS-MED fights the natural skills atrophy.
“We demand nothing less than excellence in all that we do because we know that our ultimate customer is the Soldier who becomes a battlefield casualty,” the colonel said.
“The Soldiers that we train here go on to build and staff real field hospitals that treat real combat casualties,” she said.
Leone said she and RTS-MED staff reoriented their programing to respond to Big Army’s focus on Large Scale Combat Operations.
“We are preparing them to complete their medical mission in the LSCO environment, which demands ever more rigorous training,” she said.
“Our focus is on training Army Reserve medical personnel, but we also train active-duty, non-medical MOS, and sister services personnel,” she said.
Gregory Chapman, the RTS-MED chief administer, said another facet of the RTS-MED training is sustaining their military occupational specialty, or MOS.
“This is the basic place where you can come get your sets and reps and for those people who don't work every day in the medical community,” said the retired command sergeant major.
“After AIT, where do you go?” he asked. Advanced Individual Training is the MOS-specific training Soldiers receive after basic training.
“They come here and do simulations and some scenario-based events,” he said. “Otherwise, medically specific Soldiers don't get trained.”
Leone said she thinks about the experience of an operation room specialist, or 68 Delta, who, even if they work in a civilian hospital, has yet to see an Army field hospital set up and running.
“You’ll see the OR set up, and you're going to have that situational awareness and operational understanding rather than thea first time you see an Army field hospital is when you go to work in one down range,” the Army nurse said.
She said that it is not the role of RTS-MED to teach doctors to be doctors or medics to be medics. "They have those skills when they get here."
Instead, the RTS-MED staff teaches the Army medical Soldiers how to operate in the Army environment.
820th Hospital Center Soldiers tour RTS-MED Camp Parks tent hospital
Joining Fulmer on his tour of the RTS-MED Camp Parks training hospital were roughly two dozen Soldiers from the 820th Hospital Center, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), based here.
The center's operations officer, Lt. Col. Michael Ruffin, said he organized the tour for his unit's Soldiers so they would better appreciate the training opportunities available at the center’s home station.
“We were having Yearly Training Briefing for fiscal year 2025, and this was a chance to bring my detachments,” the former Navy electrician’s mate said. “We have 11 units in two states here.”
The colonel said he received positive feedback from the tour, when RTS-MED staffers took small groups through the static hospital and its various stations, including the operating room, the intensive care unit, the X-ray room and the laboratory.
“I wanted them to see the static hospital because many of my detachment commanders and det sergeants have never seen the hospital set up,” he said.
“They can also see what training is available here, and we can look at how we can facilitate that training so they can see what's available for RTS-MED and how we can make it happen from the battalion standpoint,” he said.
The New Orleans native said the RTS-MED sites are a force multiplier.
“They have the actual equipment that we need to train on, and they have the subject matter experts to accomplish their training,” he said.
“A lot of TPU soldiers have not seen the whole hospital set up,” he said.
“They saw it when they were in school, they read about it--but actually seeing the footprint of it and then walking through it,” the colonel said. “You kind of get a chance to see where everything goes and how big it is to stage it and what drills you run out of, how you set your SOPs and battle rhythm.”
One of the NCOs on the tour, Staff Sgt. Andrew Sohero from the Fresno, Californian-based 1980th Forward Surgical Resuscitative Detachment said he had trained on other static hospitals at Global Medic exercises.
The staff sergeant said he has taken courses at the RTS-MED, including his Battlefield Lifesaver certification.
“I know these tents haven't been the same, maybe for only a couple of years now,” he said.
“I'm really happy I took this tour. The tour was really great. It was very educational, and I liked the layout that they had here.”