If you’re an Army Medic, then you are familiar with the TC 8-800 – the training guide for 68W Sustainment. It underwent an update a few years ago, and I’m a fan. The TC became more TCCC oriented, and it added some basic exam skills. It also did away with the CPR portion in Table 6 (already receiving it in BLS), and added “Force Protection.”
However, allotting training time for 68Ws remains a challenge. It’s hard to explain the training to line unit leaders; they don’t understand it. The medics are usually outnumbered and often lack an advocate to fight for their training time and resources. This problem is exacerbated more in units that only drill once a month, as time is further crunched.
That’s who can benefit the most from this, in my opinion -The National Guard units. Perhaps this would also benefit some active duty units and reserve units if the medic sections are small.
Everyone in the Army Lies
There was a paper written a few years ago that was entitled “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession.” It detailed how everyone cuts corners and lies; they have to do so. The amount of hours required in training exceeds the amount of available time, and yet units report training is complete. Here is a link to the Army Times coverage of this paper. I read through the actual paper a while back, and I loved it. It showed in actual data what we all knew to be true. I wish we didn’t live in this world, but we do.
I’m not telling anyone to lie about their training. I’m not saying to cut corners and reduce your training time. Train as much as you can, and more than is required- if possible. Attending a formal (protected time) instructional program is probably best. However, if your team is already cutting corners, then this may be a way to bridge the gap and better meet the intent.
Use This as Periodic Refresher Training
Ideally, this material would only be used to conduct individual or collective periodic refresher training in between formal instructional periods. Medics can slowly refresh on a few videos during “sergeants time” or while sitting in a FLA pulling coverage somewhere. This is excellent for “filling holes” in training or deficiencies.
Check it out! I’ve completed Tables 1-6, and 7 will be posted soon. Here is the link. It’s also posted on the homepage and in the menu.
Please send me any feedback or recommendations for any changes. I’ll listen.
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This content is the author’s opinion alone and does not necessarily reflect the opinion, official position, or stance of the Department of Defense, or any other branch of the United States Military.