JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; and Force Master Chief Hosea Smith Jr., Hospital Corps director, visited the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, Aug. 2.
The visit included leadership briefings, two “Admiral’s Calls,” one with NMTSC staff members and Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, “A” and “C” school instructors and the another with METC students, followed by a tour of the METC Navy programs and classes.
The Admiral’s Call question-and-answer sessions and the tours were followed by lunch with Hospital Corpsman Basic students at the METC dining facility.
During the calls, Faison discussed the future of Navy Medicine, answered questions and presented his personal “challenge” coins to select NMTSC METC staff and students for their superior performance on and off duty.
The first call was held with staff, which included METC instructors and NMTSC military training instructors.
“The corpsmen you’re producing are better trained, better prepared, better qualified and most importantly, more confident than ever before,” Faison told NMTSC staff. “If you’re going to save somebody’s life, you have to have three things – the training, the clinical experience and the confidence in the heat of the battle. Those corpsmen are going to leave here with that confidence because of the quality instruction here today.”
After the first call, Faison began his METC tour.
During the tour, various METC instructors briefed Faison on course curriculum and training procedures, and took him to visit different classrooms where students were getting hands-on training, including applying tourniquets and performing as surgical technicians in a simulated environment.
“Your training, readiness and preparation will determine whether or not we have high combat survival in the next conflict,” Faison told the students. “We make a commitment to every mom and dad in America that when their son or daughter joins our Navy or Marine Corps, we will do all in our power to provide them the best care our nation can offer, and one day, return them home safely. You are the keystone on whether or not that happens. That’s why I’m here – to make sure that the training you’re getting is relevant and that you are ready to go forward and save lives.”
Faison also used the call with the students to express the importance of trauma response and real-life clinical experience after completing the hospital corpsman basic program to help ensure success and the knowledge to save lives in the fleet.
“Our nation expects our Navy to be able to ‘fight tonight,’” said Faison. “If you’re going to fight tonight, you’ve gotta be able to save lives tonight. That’s where you [hospital corpsmen] come in. It’s an exciting time to be in military medicine. It’s an exciting time to be on our team. I welcome you to our team. You have an amazing future ahead with a Navy that will offer you unprecedented opportunities to do things that other people can only imagine or dream about.”
Faison ended the call by sharing his three expectations of the student Sailors heading to the fleet.
“The first expectation is that you will always be worthy of the trust that is being placed in your hands,” Faison said. “You will be privileged to care for the less than 1 percent of our nation who will volunteer and sacrifice and wear this uniform to defend our freedom.
“The second expectation I have is be worthy of that uniform that you’re wearing,” the admiral added. “By wearing that uniform, you carry on a tradition, not only of honor, courage and commitment, but a tradition of hope, caring and compassion that is the hallmark and heritage of Navy Medicine.
“The last expectation I have is be worthy of the privilege of leadership. Leadership is not a right. It is a privilege, and it is one you must earn every day,” Faison said. “We will entrust to you, those who will look to you for guidance and mentorship, just like you look to your instructors today. Take care of them, and mentor, guide, groom and prepare those who will one day take your place on the watch.”