View Full Version : Visiting corpsmen train, support Officer Candidates School

07-27-04, 07:07 AM
Visiting corpsmen train, support Officer Candidates School
Submitted by: MCB Quantico
Story Identification #: 2004722172634
Story by Sgt. Jeff Correa

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (July 22, 2004) -- The Marine Corps has proven throughout history to be a force in readiness capable of laying siege and devastating its enemy with unprecedented precision, force and speed, but when it bleeds, Naval corpsmen are there to help.

To further promote this legacy of unsurpassed medical attention and care, the Officer Candidates School Bradley Branch Medical Clinic has incorporated Operation Bulldog to augment medical personnel and provide hands-on-experience to young corpsmen.

"Our goal here is to provide superior health services for the OCS candidates," said Lt. Cmdr. Harold D. May, department head. "Operation Bulldog supports OCS and teaches corpsmen how to take care of Marines."

This summer, OCS is training six companies of candidates going through its physically and mentally demanding curriculum.

"We have a total of 1,150 candidates going through training here, and being evaluated to see if they have what it takes to lead Marines," said May.
Operation Bulldog contributes 50 to 60 additional personnel to the clinic during a time when it is busy with officer candidates, which happens annually May 24 through Aug. 2.

"We get to deal with a lot of different scenarios," said Seaman Brian Harmon, who graduated Corpsman School in May. "This is definitely a stepping stone in my career."

Operation Bulldog currently supplies the clinic with Navy medical personnel from all over the world and with a kaleidoscope of training backgrounds; from naval officers with master's and doctorate's degrees in medicine to newly enlisted Sailors applying newly learned medical techniques and procedures.

"This is my first time taking part in Bulldog," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kirsten Cruz, who works at the Branch Medical Clinic Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. "Our mission here is to make sure the candidates are fit to train."

Medical personnel with extensive experience support Operation Bulldog by ensuring candidates are physically fit and by providing guidance to younger corpsmen.

"Together we can ensure candidates are taken care of and go through training safely," said Cruz.

The candidates must successfully endure challenging training that exposes them to extreme heat and humidity, fatigue and stress, and injury and insect bites.

OCS, which has a mission of screening and training candidates just out of college, can prove to be a considerable challenge, but the clinic is there when injuries occur, said Navy Lt. Kristin Beck, who is stationed in Hawaii.

"I think it's important to make sure [candidates] are right for the Marine Corps as future leaders," said Navy Lt. Kevin Gue, who was a prior enlisted corpsmen, has 18 years of Naval service, and is currently stationed at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla. "Bulldog is good for everyone in that it sets a Marine Corps environment for the corpsman fresh out of 'A' School."

The new corpsmen experience conditioning hikes and treating heat casualties, insect bites and common injuries such as ankle sprains, cuts, abrasions and falls.

"It's important for us to learn medical techniques and procedures in order to provide dependable and substantial support to the Marines," said Seaman Evelina Barrera, a 20-year-old Chicago native, who stated medical support is imperative to the effective execution of military missions.

Operation Bulldog will continue on an annual basis due to its dynamic roll in support of OCS.