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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Company E reviews combat first aid care

By Cpl. Walter D. Marino II | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | April 25, 2013

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A recruit with Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, practices combat care on a simulated casualty aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 8. Recruits received an approximate one hour review in order to help prepare them for a combat care test. The test will require recruits to properly diagnose and treat an injury on a simulated casualty.

A recruit with Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, practices combat care on a simulated casualty aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 8. Recruits received an approximate one hour review in order to help prepare them for a combat care test. The test will require recruits to properly diagnose and treat an injury on a simulated casualty. (Photo by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II)


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A drill instructor with Instructional Training Company, Support Battalion, quizzes recruits of Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, on important aspects of combat care April 8. Recruits then practiced combat care on simulated casualties in order to learn through hands-on experience.

A drill instructor with Instructional Training Company, Support Battalion, quizzes recruits of Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, on important aspects of combat care April 8. Recruits then practiced combat care on simulated casualties in order to learn through hands-on experience. (Photo by Cpl. Walter D. Marino)


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SAN DIEGO --     Recruits received hands-on training to help prepare them for an upcoming test on first aid knowledge aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 8th. 
    “Up, down, left, right, all clear! Are you alright? Are you ok?” shouted a recruit of Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. He cleared the area and laid down next to a simulated casualty, while continuing to ask questions and looking for a wound. 
    He quickly diagnosed the injury as a sucking chest wound and applied the proper bandages. Afterwards, a drill instructor corrected him on what he missed and needed to fix.
    “You have to cover the entire wound with the bandage,” said a drill instructor sternly.
    This scene was repeated multiple times to teach recruits the proper technique used in giving combat care. Recruits reviewed injuries such as the closed fracture, sucking chest wound and chemical burn. First aid knowledge is a graduation requirement and recruits are graded during a performance evaluation. The combat care test requires recruits to correctly assess and treat an injury on a simulated casualty. 
    Drill instructors review facts and scenarios with recruits periodically throughout training, but there is only so much knowledge recruits can retain from a verbal explanations. 
    “These scenarios are a little bit harder because you’re actually wrapping up a dummy and simulating that you’re taking care of a Marine,” said Recruit Brandon T. Webb, Platoon 2106, Co. E, 2nd RTBn.
    If a recruit fails the test, they have another chance the following day. However, if the recruit fails their second opportunity, it could mean being held back in recruit training until they learn the material. Combat care is highly valued by drill instructors due to the fact that this knowledge can help save lives.
    “The first responder can be anybody. Any rank at any time can be put in a situation to provide first aid to a fellow Marine,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn M. Stallings, drill instructor, Platoon 2106, Co. E, 2nd RTBn. “I think it’s good that we can stress first aid early, it is just as important as any other aspect of being a Marine.”
Recruits echoed that sentiment.
    “I feel that an injury is an injury and a Marine is a Marine,” said Webb. “Just because you are a private doesn’t mean that you can’t help someone like the sergeant major of the Marine Corps—if they had a broken leg or something.” 
    Although some recruits enter training with extensive first aid knowledge, they explained there is a difference in the intensity, importance and type of injuries they learn aboard the depot.
    “This is very important knowledge to have,” said Recruit Jonathan M.W. Zuchristian, Plt. 2106, Co. E, 2nd RTBn., who worked as a lifeguard for three years. “The drill instructors do a very good job of instilling a combat mindset and breaking the information down into steps. They also let us know that we have to practice (combat care) with intensity and a combat mindset because there is intensity and chaos in combat.”


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