First aid class, one of 12 graduation requirements for basic combat training, is completed by trainees during Red Phase. During this three-day course, trainees are taught basic knowledge of hemorrhage control, tourniquet use, wound care, self-aid, buddy aid and casualty evaluation.
Because medical personnel will not always be readily available, Soldiers will have to rely heavily on their own skills and knowledge of life-sustaining methods to survive on the integrated battlefield.
“We are the first class they get when they get to basic training, the first medical class they get in the U.S. Army,” said Sgt. Ricardo Wilson, first aid instructor. “It has an impact, being the first ones to teach them how to treat their battle buddies. It is important, because they (may end up being) the ones who have to treat their battle buddies to their left and right.”
Staff Sgt. Melody Mallory, also a first aid and combat life saver instructor, agrees.
“It’s important to be done in IET because sometimes between here and (their first duty station) they don’t have the additional time to train,” she said.
For trainees with an MOS such as 68W, a combat medic, this course is the first of many medical courses they will experience throughout their career.
According to Wilson, proper tourniquet use, and proper first aid training for Soldiers, remains key to ensuring effectiveness and safety. First aid training provides trainees with the ability to decrease preventable battlefield deaths, while increasing unit effectiveness.