MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. –
As the U.S. military’s role changes and adapts so must its servicemen and woman. Some of that change comes from shifting missions, new equipment, new Soldiers, but whatever the source, it means more training. One of the goals is to revamp the way the Army deals with traumatic medical incidents with a new Combat Lifesavers Class. As of February 2023, the 63rd Readiness Division in Mountain View, California, is gathering resources and teaching more Soldiers those skills.
“The Army is all about training. We can't train unless we have you (Combat Life Savers) or medics, out there making sure that if something does happen, that you're ready to go,” said Maj. Gen. Miles A. Davis, commanding general, 63rd Readiness Division. “As a commander, not only do I look for you to be that person who's helping out, but training to make sure that we can deal with what could be the worst day, could be a severe accident, whatever it is. “
CLS is a 40 hour course that culminates in a 50-question written exam and a hands-on simulated practical exam. The course covers appropriate action under fire, emergency tourniquet use, blood control due to gunshots, explosions or other trauma, securing an airway, wound care, splinting and emergency evacuation procedures.
“The first step is the All Service Members Course.” Said MSG Sanchez, Senior instructor. The Army is developing the ASM program to the new standard for medical self-aid. That is followed by the Combat Life Saver Course. That class is for non-medical personnel trained to perform several life-saving medical measures.
“It is important that they take it at least once in their lifetime because you never know when you're going to use any of these skills,” said Master Sgt. Maria Sanchez, 68W, Combat Medic Noncommissioned Officer of the 63rd Readiness Division. “The way that the Army is progressing is that they want the soldiers that are going deployed to be CLS qualified. I think it's a win-win situation for the commanders.”
Soldiers who receive CLS training are better equipped to provide critical medical care when it's needed, and commanders can rest assured that their troops are prepared for any situation that arises. The Army's commitment to improving its training programs, like the Combat Lifesavers Class, is a testament to its dedication to the health and safety of its personnel.
The 63rd is not a school house so it must gather instructors from its subordinate units. This Feb. 20–24, 2023 class was taught by Sgt. Alec B. Pagtakhan, Spc. Gerardo J. Reyes, both from Santa Ana, California. Also instructing the class, was Pfc. Ramiro Martinez. This San Fernando, Ca. native has taught the class a total of two times making him the veteran of the group. They did such an outstanding job that they were all personally recognized by the Commanding General of the 63rd RD in a brief ceremony on Feb. 24.
It's important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of instructors like these, who are committed to ensuring that soldiers receive the best possible training. Their efforts are a testament to the Army's commitment to providing its personnel with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the field.