11 June 2012 Written by U.S. Army Sgt. Jake Marlin, 11th Public Affairs Detachment
PAKTIYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan — When a Soldier goes down on the battlefield with a wound or other injury, the first person everyone looks for is the medic.
Afghan National Army Soldiers in the ANA 203rd Corps Combat Medic Course attend a graduation on Forward Operating Base Thunder June 6, 2012. Some of the Soldiers in the course have acted as medics for months prior to attending the training. U.S. Army Sgt. Jake Marlin, 11th Public Affairs Detachment
The Afghan National Army 203rd Corps Combat Medic Course at Forward Operating Base Thunder provides highly trained ANA medic non-commissioned officers to support their units in the field. During the CMC training, the NCOs learn life saving skills that could assist them in saving a fellow Soldiers life.
The all Afghan led course is designed to teach them skills similar to those taught to U.S. military personnel.
Unlike the U.S. military, where a servicemmember receives extensive individual training before being assigned to a unit, the Afghan National Army doesn’t always have that luxury. Some of the students coming through the CMC have worked as medics in the field for months or even years.
“Now that these Soldiers have completed the combat medic course, they can go back and really help their units,” said ANA Sgt. 1st Class Farid Hamrad, a CMC instructor.
In the Afghan Army, any Soldiers can function in a medic role, but only those who have completed a CMC are allowed to receive medic incentive pay. Now that these Soldiers are finally getting the chance to attend the CMC, they can finally be compensated for their life saving skills.
“This training is going to be very useful,” says ANA Pvt. Abdul Satar, a recent graduate of the CMC from the Corps Logistics Kandak who has worked as a medic for eighteen months prior to attending this course. “Before the training, I didn’t know what to do, but now if one of the Soldiers is injured, I can help them.”
Satar also said that he had small amounts of instruction from other medics, but nothing like the CMC provided him.
“Now I feel like I am ready to help,” said Satar.
The CMC also takes students straight from basic training and teaches them the skills necessary to aid their injured comrades.
“I had only been out of basic training four days when I started this training,” says ANA Staff Sgt. Noorudin, a medic for the 1st Kandak, 4th ANA Brigade.
Noorudin and Satar both added that being a medic is the highest honor for any ANA Soldier.