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NEWS | Dec. 12, 2017

Army Reserve Soldiers help keep Army ready and healthy

By Staff Sgt. Felix Fimbres U.S. Army Reserve Command

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7250th Medical Support Unit have used their technical expertise to provide medical services to more than 150 Army Reserve and active Soldiers here Dec. 10, 2017.

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers provided medical services during Soldier Readiness Processing; a system designed to ensure each Soldier is medically fit for duty.

“They did an amazing job getting us through the SRP in a timely manner. I made it through in about two hours. That’s a fantastic turn around,” said Capt. Jeffrey Havens, commander, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. “Normally, we have to make different appointments at separate times throughout the week; we were able to come get it done in one day.”

Havens said he has talked with other commanders in the Capitol City region who agreed that getting Soldiers appointments in a timely manner has been a challenge, which has an effect on overall unit readiness. Some Soldiers are being scheduled out as far as two months for basic dental, hearing, and behavioral health screenings. Today’s SRP will have a direct impact on his unit’s readiness.

“We SRP’d both ourselves and an active-duty unit this weekend, processing about 150 Soldiers,” said Maj. Erika Fowlkes, officer in charge of Capitol Medic. “This is the first time an Army Reserve unit has carried out this mission across the country, and it allows us to function in our military specialties getting hands-on experience.”

The need to work together and to hone their skills was a sentiment echoed by the commander of the 7250th.

“There’s a real need for this. We’ve never done anything like this,” said Lt. Col. Patrick McNutt, commander, 7250th MSU. “I have policemen firefighters, and IT professionals that don’t get a chance to do this daily with this equipment in a real-world environment.”

Many of the Soldiers in the 7250th are medical professionals in their civilian capacities. However, some of the younger Soldiers still are going through school and are gaining valuable experience during the event.

“I’m going to school for nursing, but having experienced sergeants and officers here who are also nurses in their civilian lives has been great,” said Spc. Tracy Ortiz, a health care specialist with the 7250th, “I learned a lot of great techniques because every patient is different, and the patient comes first.”

The unit was also able to practice working together and learned how to operate smoothly and effectively.

“Our unit was created to plug-in into different medical facilities, both CONUS and OCONUS,” said Sgt. Terrelle Fields, the noncommissioned officer in charge of Capitol Medic. “This has been a challenge, but the Soldiers have adapted quickly, and I’m proud of what they accomplished today.”