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Blue and Green blend for common goal of readiness

Marine Corps Installations-East SgtMaj Charles Metzger treats a “patient” under the observation of Petty Officer 2nd Class, Hospital Corpsman Lee Justin during a recent Tactical Combat Casualty Care course at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

Story by Sarah Hauck
Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune

Wielding a scalpel and watching the ragged rise and fall of his “fallen brother’s” chest, SgtMaj Charles Metzger, Marine Corps Installations-East, began performing a tracheotomy on a mannequin June 27, 2018, as he participated in Tactical Combat Casualty Care training at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

Metzger is not the first Marine to complete TCCC, but was the first from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s higher echelon to get hands-on experience of the course.

TCCC is a critical component of combat training offered to Sailors at NMCCL.

The course combines the use of sophisticated mannequins that bleed, breathe and talk, as well as intensive classroom education to prepare Corpsmen to tend to wounded service members while in the field.

“TCCC is essential to establishing a care foundation for everyone to be able to understand medical care on the battlefield,” said former NMCCL Commanding Officer CAPT James Hancock.
Metzger explained that while all Marines are required to complete a basic Combat Lifesavers course before deploying, learning of additional casualty care is beneficial.

Having every deployable service member able to provide beyond basic trauma care is crucial to making units lethal and effective.

“Going through this training right here is invaluable,” said Metzger. “The one thing we cannot lapse on in terms of training or budgetary restrictions is the training of our Corpsmen. The realization is that we have one Corpsman out there for 12 guys. Everybody has to have some kind of intervention training out there. It [TCCC] is invaluable training. It was a great training.”
The in-depth look into TCCC by Metzger is an example of the collaboration NMCCL and Camp Lejeune have been nurturing.
Sharing ideas on training courses and curriculum can help establish vital readiness levels for any service member aboard Camp Lejeune, Sailor and Marine alike.
Marines currently have the opportunity to take TCCC through NMCCL, as well as TNCC, ACLS, PALS and ATLS.
A mission of readiness and partnerships has been established at NMCCL, which is supported by Metzger and Marines frequently participating in TCCC trainings.
Continued elaborated partnerships with the Marine Corps will allow for the Marines to potentially create a similar program, increasing the amount of TCCC-like training being conducted for all deploying service members beyond Corpsmen.
Allowing trainings like TCCC to blend between branches aids in the common goal when “downrange”, LCDR Colleen Abuzeid, Director of Staff Education and Training, explained.
“In the end we are one team. We should be working together to achieve the common goal. If someone is an established expert in their field you seek their assistance to learn and build upon your knowledge and skills. That is what we are doing,” said Abuzeid. “We rely on the Marines to help us learn how to handle a weapon down range, they rely on us to not only care for them but provide them with skills to keep themselves and their buddies alive should they become injured.”

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