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NEWS | Feb. 10, 2023

Army medical providers take aim on medical readiness in training seminar

By Tommy Crosby 81st Readiness Division

More than 25 U.S. Army medical providers from across the country, Alaska, and Germany traveled to Fort Jackson this week to attend a three-day medical training seminar hosted by the 81st Readiness Division (RD). Focused on the standards of medical fitness for Soldiers and medical preparation for deployable Army Units, the intent of the training seminar is to increase the capability and capacity of trained medical providers in units throughout the Army Reserve and improve medical readiness metrics across the force.

The commanding general of the 81st RD, Maj. Gen. Robert Harter, kicked off the training seminar with emphasizing how important the role medical providers play in making sure the Army Reserve is ready when called now and into the future. “We need to leverage medical professionals to build readiness in the Army Reserve,” said Harter. “We need you to lean forward, be bold and recommend solutions to help Commanders achieve medical readiness within their units.”

Members of the 81st Readiness Division’s Command Surgeon’s Staff provided information and training on the latest updates to Army medical regulations, Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) profiling, deployment assessment criteria, along with navigation and access in the myriad of medical computer systems used by the military.

“We owe it to every member of the team to be appropriately equipped, effectively trained, adequately led, and compassionately cared for to give them the best chance of accomplishing the mission,” said Col. John Bride Jr., command surgeon, 81st RD. “Conducting training seminars such as this, demonstrates our commitment to cultivating an environment and empowering our Military Medical Providers to succeed as subject matter experts to their Commands as well as optimize medical readiness."

Though most of the participants in the training are members of the Army Reserve, there were also active-duty and National Guard members who also attended the seminar.

“There is no established in-person training available for medical providers on these topics in the Army Reserve, or for any Army Component for that matter,” says Maj. Jason Stevens, 81st RD, deputy surgeon. “There are a couple of online training modules from the Department of Defense that discuss basic aspects, but nothing currently that is specific to the Army. The training provided during this seminar will help ensure the medical providers have the knowledge and access to computer systems they need to perform their duties more effectively and efficiently.”

“The moment I saw this training was available, I jumped at the opportunity to attend,” said Col. Victor Hernandez, 1st Mission Support Command (MSC), command surgeon. “This training really reinforced steps that will help me, and others effectively and efficiently do our job and positively impact readiness.”

Lt. Col. Blair Heath assigned to the 7th MSC in Germany also attend the training. “Having formalized training that shows us how to ensure we are following regulations, while also applying best practices, is truly fantastic,” said Heath. “I am looking forward to taking this knowledge and training and providing it to other medical providers in my area of responsibility.”

“The excitement and motivation of the medical providers here is amazing,” said Bride. “Everyone involved has the same objective and that is to do everything we can to make sure our Soldiers are medically ready.”

The 81st RD intends on hosting another Medical Provider Training Seminar in July, later this year.

The 81st Readiness Division has responsibility for base operations for Army Reserve units throughout the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. It is responsible for preparing Soldiers and units to deploy and fight in multi-domain operations and meet current and future combatant commander force requirements.