JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Lt. Gen. Theodore Martin, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center commander, visited the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Sept. 8-10.
This is the first time Martin has visited MEDCoE since he took command of CAC and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in May. Martin visited MEDCoE on another occasion during his previous assignment as deputy commanding general and chief of staff of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, based at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
“The more time I spend at Fort Sam Houston and the Medical Center of Excellence, the more impressed I am with the breadth and depth of the United States Army’s commitment to professional medicine and professional medical care for not only our Soldiers but also our families,” Martin said.
CAC is one of five subordinate commands and centers under TRADOC and has operational control of MEDCoE, one of their 10 centers of excellence. CAC helps deliver professional military education and functional training through 20 other branch and seven non-branch schools. It is the force modernization proponent for unified land operations and combined arms operations.
During his visit, Martin received an overview brief on the various MEDCoE priority programs and initiatives to include the 68W Combat Medic, Theater Medical Information Requirement, Operational Health Information Technology, Master Medic Trainer, and the Medical Logistics Future Design Update.
Martin stopped by the Company A, 232nd Medical Battalion Field Training Exercise to interact with 68W Combat Medics in their final phase of advanced individual training. He observed Soldier medics putting their skills to the test in map orientation, simulated patrol operations, react to contact, casualty collection, prolonged field care as well as a battalion aid station and medical evacuation operations.
Throughout the three-day visit, the general also took time to host leader development sessions with MEDCoE battalion commanders, company commanders and basic officer leader course, or BOLC, students.
During his leader professional development session with BOLC students, Martin acknowledged the “turbulence” that the young officers may face during their Army careers. “Successful officers develop skills that help navigate the various challenges they may face.”
Martin said, “My objective today is to give you my best military advice on what you can do to make your contribution to the Army a success and to be part of the building blocks that will help us build and maintain combat-ready units.”
In his opening comments, Martin described the many ways the Army is changing and adapting, including culture changes, and how he expects the young officers to “lead” their way out of difficult situations. He also answered more than a dozen questions from the group of more than 200 junior officers in a question-and-answer session that lasted a full hour.
“If you tolerate any deviation from the Army standard, you are aiding and abetting the enemy,” Martin explained. “You will, however, not be alone; you will have noncommissioned officers to help you.”
Martin offered poignant, personal stories from his time after BOLC when, he recalled, he learned a lot from the noncommissioned officers in his first assignment.
“They will help you with your skills, and they will help you lead the first unit you go to,” Martin said. “What they need from you is positive, aggressive, and uncompromising leadership, especially when it comes to safety and character; those are non-negotiable.”