Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Golden Medic Prepares Medical Soldiers for Duty in Iraq

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Golden Medic Prepares Medical Soldiers for Duty in Iraq

Article excerpt

FORT GORDON, Ga. - Soldiers participating in Golden Medic at Fort Gordon, Ga., received a small sampling of duty in Iraq. It was not from a newscast or video game, but from realistic training dished out by an opposing force (OPFOR).

The OPFOR brings realism to the training by adopting the enemy's dress, mannerisms and language. Then it develops scenarios based on what is happening in combat zones overseas and provides live role players as either enemy Soldiers or civilians on the battlefield. "We try to simulate encounters found on the battlefield," said SPC Paul Nash, an OPFOR member with the 338th Medical Brigade, Chester, Penn. "Troops need to be able to distinguish between the enemy and civilians. You can't treat everyone as a hostile, but the enemy is deceitful."

For those reasons, Nash, who served in Uzbekistan, said Soldiers need to be able to refer to their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Rules of Engagement (ROE) when dealing with situations, whether at the front gate or anywhere else. He speaks about these points after every encounter during the After Action Review (AAR).

The AAR is the catalyst for learning at Golden Medic, where over 1,000 medical Soldiers have gathered to practice their Soldier skills as well as their military occupational specialties. The AAR provides an open discussion where an event is broken down to its basic elements. Everyone has the power to bring up things that went right or wrong without laying blame or judgment. "I trained the OPFOR to run the AAR so it could bring out the positive aspects and the ones that need to be rehearsed," said Lyle Daniels, a retired command sergeant major working as a trainer with the OPFOR as well as managing the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) equipment for the exercise. …

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