View Full Version : ‘Devil Docs’ are integral part of Marine unit

05-13-04, 02:48 PM
‘Devil Docs’ are integral part of Marine unit
Submitted by: MCB Camp Lejeune
Story Identification #: 2004512155246
Story by Mike Escobar

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (June 12, 2004) -- He walks the streets of Port-au-Prince with a pistol holstered at his side and a patrol pack on his back. Moving amidst the column of Marines, he stops only occasionally to converse with them.
One might not even be able to distinguish him from the 21 Marines in the patrol but for the absence of an eagle, globe and anchor emblem on his cover, and the presence of a large, shield-like insignia on his flak jacket.
He eats with them, trains with them, works with them, lives with them. For all intents and purposes, he is one of them.
“I pretty much consider myself a grunt with a first aid kit,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian M. Isherwood, corpsman with 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Although a sailor by trade, Isherwood and fellow corpsmen with the Marine Air-Ground Task Force-8 ground combat element live like infantry Marines. The medics, called “docs,” head out with Marine security patrols every time they leave the compounds, which is usually two to three times a day, Isherwood said.
When not patrolling, docs train alongside their infantry counterparts. Isherwood says medics are taught the same combat tactics and field survival skills that grunts learn.
“I really enjoy the field training. It’s good to go out with these guys and train,” he added.
But MAGTF-8 corpsmen are jacks of all trades. In addition to roughing it with the infantry, the docs man the battalion aid stations and learn the administrative and logistical aspects of their job, Isherwood stated.
“Every corpsman is trained to care for the combat casualty, but they support the battalion aid station in all aspects,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Wayne A. Cardoni, 8th Marine Regiment surgeon.
Cardoni said MAGTF-8 corpsmen receive training in all operational aspects of their field. The docs learn how to handle their own administrative issues and order their own supplies, he added.
“Some of the medical supplies we use are unique and rare,” Cardoni stated. Having the corpsmen order their own supplies and take care of their own business is more efficient than working through a regular supply chain,” he continued.
“Our corpsmen are also taught how to operate radios, conduct medical evacuations, and even learn some dental technician work,” said Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Mark S. Starnes, MAGTF-8 Navy senior enlisted medical staff member.
Starnes said the docs receive this training because they “never know where they’re going to end up. The more they know, the better prepared they are to deal with unforeseen events,” he added.
“No standard operating procedures are really written down, but I make sure the corpsmen have what they need to perform the job,” the senior chief stated.
Starnes also said he likes to get out with the line corpsmen, those working with the ground combat element, to see if they have all the training and supplies needed to get the mission accomplished. He said he ensures that his corpsmen work effectively with the Marines.
Isherwood said training alongside Marines helps the medics learn how they react to situations and about their personalities.
“The training is beneficial because if anything arises, we’ll be able to accomplish the mission with the Marines,” Starnes stated. All of the corpsmen’s training is geared towards taking care of Marines, he added.
“No Marine is going to be left on any kind of battlefield or backstreet in Haiti,” Starnes continued. “I can tell you that for sure.”
Starnes said the docs also work effectively as a team with each other. He said the MAGTF-8 medical personnel coordinated effectively with Charlie Surgical Company at the CJTF headquarters to administer emergency medical care to Haitian locals when their vehicle overturned.
“The corpsmen have done an outstanding job, but I can also say that the Marines I’ve served with here have done a very, very professional job,” Starnes said. “From the quick reaction force to the patrols and security they’ve provided, they’re outstanding.”


Port-au-Prince, Haiti- Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian M. Isherwood, corpsman with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, observes his surroundings while on patrol with 1st Platoon, 2nd Squad. Photo by: Cpl. Mike Escobar



Super Dave
05-13-04, 03:13 PM
Amen...gotta love the Doc's! They will forever have my respect!

05-14-04, 06:58 AM
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification #: 2004512205130
Story by Cpl. Ryan D. Libbert

CAMP MCTUREOUS, Okinawa, Japan (April 23, 2004) -- Plastered in the windows of Bechtel Elementary School on Camp McTureous are the faces of numerous kindergarten students eagerly awaiting the arrival of some special visitors.

Although these visitors are normally found in the field with survival gear on their bodies and medical tools in hand, they arrive Bechtel with smiling faces and caring attitudes.
Each Friday, volunteers from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group on Camp Hansen spend time with the individual kindergarten classes at Bechtel, something the battalion has been very proud of for several years now.

“Volunteers have been going to Bechtel Elementary School once a week for three years now,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rachael A. Tayamen, religious program specialist, 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group. “The battalion has been slated to serve as mentors to the six kindergarten classes at the school.”

At least six different volunteers assist the school every week for the different kindergarten classes. With one corpsman assigned to each class, the Sailors spend time with the children doing a variety of activities.

“Two favorite activities for the volunteers are to read to the children and play with them at recess,” Tayamen added. “They also spend time helping the students with their projects and school work.”

After finger painting, reading stories and dancing the “hokey pokey” with the kids weekly for the past three years, the Sailors have developed a special place in their hearts for the kindergarten classes.

“Doing this stuff makes me feel like a kid again,” said Seaman Jeremy C. Schaefer, field medical corpsmen, 3rd Medical Battalion. “It’s nice to feel like you’re part of another family like this when you’re serving overseas.”

Since the program began three years ago, the battalion and the school have developed a strong relationship. Both parties realize the time spent once a week together with the kindergarten classes is something very important for the community.

“These children will be our future and they need to be supported and affirmed,” Tayamen expressed. “If their parents are deployed, I think that it is good for the children to have the opportunity to relate to another military member that can encourage them.”

The Sailors from 3rd Medical Battalion are not the only volunteers who help out at the school. With volunteers sent from various units on Okinawa to the school, the students of Bechtel have also expressed their appreciation towards all servicemembers who serve as mentors there.

“The school loves this program,” Tayamen continued. “Every spring before the school year ends they have a volunteer appreciation day. Each class puts on their rendition of the different units that volunteer at the school. I know that the teachers also appreciate a pair of helping hands in the class room.”

With successful efforts draping the past three years between the battalion and Bechtel, There are no plans for the regular visits to stop.

“I feel it’s important to continue this project every week because a part of serving our country is also taking time to serve and care for our families,” Tayamen concluded.


CAMP MCTUREOUS, Okinawa, Japan - Seaman Jeremy C. Schaefer, field corpsman for 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, assists Joshua Richards with an art project at Bechtel Elementary School. Six Sailors from 3rd Medical Battalion visited Bechtel April 23 to serve as mentors to the individual kindergarten classes there. Photo by: Cpl. Ryan D. Libbert