Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Face of Defense: Marine Recruiter Volunteers for Father-Daughter Dance

By Marine Corps Sgt. Mandaline Hatch, 6th Marine Corps District

MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Jan. 31, 2018 — A  father-daughter dance can be a nightmare for a girl without a father. When Raven Campbell’s Girl Scout troop announced they would be hosting a father-daughter dance at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church here Jan. 20, she was worried she’d have no one to take her.

Then Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brian D. Raney stepped in.

Elaine Harding, the Girl Scouts Service Unit Manager, told the Girl Scouts about the father-daughter dance, but to Campbell’s dismay, she did not have a father to go with. Elaine explained that it didn’t have to be a father.

“I asked her, ‘If you could go with anybody that you wanted to, who would you like to go with?’ And she said, ‘A Marine!’” Harding said.

Campbell has had her share of trials the past couple of years. A year ago, her oldest brother was killed in an automobile accident and her grandmother passed away shortly after. This year, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and is currently going through treatment. Despite everything she has been through, Campbell is determined to become a Marine.

“She wants so badly to be a Marine,” Harding said of Campbell.

Once on a Girl Scout hiking trip, Campbell filled her backpack with heavy books to help demonstrate her resolve. “I’ve got to make my back strong so I can carry the gear that a Marine carries,” Campbell told Harding.

Help From Community

Harding reached out to the community to see if she could find a Marine to take Campbell to the dance, and Raney, the station commander for Recruiting Substation Murfreesboro, stepped in.

“Jason Gulley [with United Real Estate Middle Tennessee] got in touch with me and gave me the rundown of what they were trying to do for Raven,” Raney said. “I thought it was really great and I was really excited and looking forward to [the dance].”

Raney, a recruiter stationed with Recruiting Station Nashville, 6th Marine Corps District, wasn’t the only one eager to help. The entire Murfreesboro community came together to make Campbell’s dreams come true.

“That’s what I do as a recruiter,” Raney said, “I try to help people. If we can positively impact one person, then we're changing the world.”

Campbell only knew she was getting her hair and makeup done, all taken care of by a local salon. Her mother told her there would be other surprises along the way.

“I saw the limo and then I saw him get out of the car and I was like ‘No way!’” Campbell said.

They then rode in a limo, provided by a local philanthropist, to a dinner donated by a restaurant in the local area.

Upon arriving to the dance, the pair had their photos taken by a local photography studio.

So many people offered to help Campbell that some offers had to be turned away.

After a night filled with dancing and many Girl Scout cookies, she said her favorite part was meeting Raney.
“I’m very appreciative to anybody that had anything to do with this,” Harding said “You have made a little girl very happy.”

Army Medics Conduct Field Training in Germany

By Army Spc. Dustin D. Biven, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 31, 2018 —When people are ill or injured, they typically go to their local doctor for care or treatment. However, when soldiers are ill or injured in a combat environment, they depend on the healing hands of their combat medics.

In the hills surrounding this 40,000 acre training area, soldiers faced an environment that simulated what combat could be like during the ongoing Allied Spirit VIII training exercise.

About 4,100 participants from 10 nations are taking part in the exercise, which runs Jan. 15-Feb. 5. Nearly 2,420 participants will come from the United States and approximately 1,680 participants were expected to participate from allied and partner nations of Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

In this exercise, Poland's 12th Mechanized Brigade will command the multinational brigade headquarters. The Allied Spirit series rotates countries as the brigade headquarters leading the exercise, so all participating countries gain experience in working together in and for a multinational effort.

Allied Spirit VIII is unique in its ability to provide hands-on experience and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partners.

Soldiers must remain vigilant in this exercise at all times as opposing forces scattered around the area periodically attack with small arms, tracked vehicles and aerial support.

“We can't choose where the next combat zone will be, we just have to be prepared for anything,” said Army 1st Sgt. Joe Best, a combat medic with the 557th Medical Company. “We had [simulated] injured personnel brought in yesterday by aerial support, and without hesitation our medics responded and successfully transferred the injured from the UH-60 Black Hawk to a field litter ambulance stationed nearby.”

Medics were evaluated on how effective and quickly they could receive, transport and treat injured personnel brought in by air support in a combat environment.

Difficult Conditions

Though the terrain where the medical station is located is covered in deep mud, soldiers quickly adapted to their environment and overcame the difficulties.

“The recent snow has melted and caused the location we're at to become less than ideal,” said Army Sgt. Noah Hughes, a combat medic with 557th Medical Company. “But when lives are on the line, there is no room for excuses, we adapt and overcome. We positioned our [ambulance] near … the UH-60 Black Hawk and our litter team was quick to receive the information on the patients from the flight medic and get them to the next level of care.”

Soldiers who are injured in the field or in a combat environment can't depend on having a fully operational medical facility nearby. Sometimes, the closest lifesaving treatment can be found in a pop-up tent.

“It's training events like Allied Spirit that helps save lives in combat,” Hughes said. “I live by the saying, 'More sweat in training means less blood in combat,' meaning the harder we train the more effective we'll be when in combat.”

For serious injuries, a field setup would not be the last stop in a soldier’s line of care, it's usually the half-way point.

The initial care given to an injured soldier in a combat zone is called first aid. This includes lifesaving measures to stop and control any bleeding and to make sure the injured soldier is breathing well.

Once the patient is medically evacuated to a field medical facility, more in-depth treatment can be conducted. At this stage, further steps are taken to care for and treat the patient’s wounds.
“No matter what environment we are faced with, my medics are trained and ready.” Best said. “The U.S. and its allies are an effective force, deterring aggression and sustaining the front lines of combat.”

Marines Prepare for Basic Reconnaissance Course

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Luke Kuennen, 4th Marine Division

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii, Jan. 31, 2018 — Reconnaissance Marines with Detachment 4th Force Reconnaissance Company hosted amphibious training events as part of a preparation course for prospective reconnaissance Marines here, Jan. 22-23.

The preparation course runs from Jan. 3-Feb. 2, and aims to prepare Marine Corps Reserve students for the stresses of the Basic Reconnaissance Course by offering a broad, realistic curriculum, challenging them both mentally and physically.

“It’s basically a stepping stone for students to prepare for BRC,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Nikita Klochko, a course instructor and reconnaissance Marine. “We’ve been going through basic reconnaissance skills, and all the other physical and mental components they’ll need to succeed.”

The extensive time the students spend in the water will drastically increase their preparedness for the difficulties of BRC training, Klochko said.

“Water confidence is huge,” he said. “Most guys will freak out, hyperventilate and quit. Pool activities and fins are a big part of what we do here.”

Rapid Improvements

Marine Corps Pfc. Michael Garziano said he has already seen improvements in his performance in the water.

“Before it started, I was completing my 500-meter swim in almost 17 minutes,” he said. “We’ve been working on that event almost every day here, and I’ve cut that time all the way down to under 13 minutes.”

It is especially important that the detachment’s students are fully equipped to succeed and come back from BRC as reconnaissance Marines, as the unit is already understaffed, said Sgt. Trevor Smith, a course instructor and reconnaissance Marine.

“Our main goal is to continue bringing reconnaissance Marines to the Hawaii Detachment,” Smith said. “Right now, we have five reservists here on island, and that isn’t even enough for a team.”

With a full team, the unit would be able to take advantage of the unique amphibious training environments Hawaii has to offer, he said.

“We have a brand new dive locker here, literally a stone’s throw away from the detachment,” Smith said. “Helo-casting opportunities are more readily available with the bay and the air station right next door. Having a full team would give us the capability to fully utilize those training opportunities.”

The course is a means to achieve this goal by instilling the discipline, force fitness and warfighting knowledge the reconnaissance community is known for.
“When you get here, you realize you kind of suck at first,” Garziano said. “But after a while, you see the improvements in yourself. All of the instructors keep pushing you to the point where you feel like quitting, but you know you won’t. If you want to be a recon Marine, that’s what it takes.”