Charlie Company receives combat care training
By Lance Cpl. Jericho W. Crutcher
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | July 24, 2014
Mairne Corps Recurit Depot San Diego --
Combat care training provides knowledge of how to apply combat first aid during volatile or life threatening situations. Knowing these skills could mean the difference between life or death in the combat environment.
Recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, learned various methods of treating casualties with hands-on training during a Combat Care III class aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 22.
“Up, down, left, right, all clear! Are you all right? Are you ok?” shouted recruit David A. Melendez, Platoon 1043, as he cleared the area and searched for a wound on a simulated casualty.
During the class, recruits learned how to assess and treat different situations such as a chemical burn, sucking chest wound, open and closed fractures as well as how to apply a tourniquet.
“While treating the wound, you have to make sure the entire wounded area is covered and the bandage is secured enough to not fall off or unravel,” said 18-year-old Melendez, a Los Banos, California native. “If your only Corpsman gets injured, then it’s important Marines have enough knowledge about combat care to start applying the appropriate first aid to the wounded.”
The event was broken into five stations, each with a different combat wound. Recruits were required to assess each simulated casualty and apply proper treatment before rotation to each of the stations, ensuring they had the opportunity to receive hands-on experience for each station.
Recruits are required to pass a combat care test during training week 10 and during the practical application, they must correctly assess and treat a casualty with an unknown injury.
If a recruit incorrectly assesses and treats the casualty, he will be required to retest. Because of the importance of learning these life-saving skills, recruits who do not pass the first aid test could potentially be held back in training to ensure they learn the valuable information.
“Recruits should leave this class knowing the importance of learning combat care because it could be any of them who might have to save a fellow brother, friend and Marine,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy M. Willetts, drill instructor, Platoon 1043. “Any Marine in any military occupational specialty can find themselves in that situation.”
Being able to provide timely assistance in a stressful situation is paramount during combat. Assessing and treating injuries must come to Marines as second nature, which means the recruits conduct first aid drills constantly during training, explained 28-year-old Willetts, a Hornell, New York native.
The Combat Care III class is taught on training day seven giving recruits nearly 12 weeks to thoroughly understand the information.
“I feel confident after today’s class that I can apply the basics of first aid training to a wounded casualty,” said Melendez. “We will continue to learn about combat care further into detail as training goes on, and I will absorb all the knowledge I can toward it.”