Special operations medics training center opens

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Special operations medics training center opens

By Henry Cuningham
Military editor

In 1962, Dr. Richard L. Coppedge helped design the program at Fort Bragg to give extra training to Special Forces medics.
He was the command surgeon for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School when Brig. Gen. William P. Yarborough identified the need.
Forty-five years later, Coppedge, now 85 and a retired colonel, was present at the Oct. 1 ceremony to mark the activation at Fort Bragg of the Special Warfare Medical Group to train special operations medics of all services.
“It’s flabbergasting,” said Coppedge, who now lives in Arizona. “It’s almost too incredible to realize there is a separate command and the number trained — 1,500 a year — the degree of training, the excellence of the training. ... I know that this is the best-trained medic in the world.”
The center’s primary mission is to run the 46-week course for Special Forces medics. Each 12-man A-team has a medic.
“The training for our medics is so unique that it demanded a special organization,” said Maj. Gen. James W. Parker, commander of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
The group trains soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center on Kedenburg Street.
At the same ceremony, Col. Kevin M. Keenan turned over command to Col. Jeffrey L. Kingsbury.
“After all, what could be more important than training combat medics when our nation is at war?” Parker asked.
Keenan took over as as dean of Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center in 2000.
“Kevin has been a witness to and an active participant in all the changes and the growth since the war on terror,” Parker said. “The warrior medics that he has trained have taken part in operations from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Philippines and the Horn of Africa and countless other locations around the globe.”
In 2001, the Special Forces community only had 77 percent of the medics it needed, Parker said. That meant 57 A-teams did not have the medics they required, Parker said.
Today, the force has 103 percent of the medics it needs, Parker said.
The school reduced the instructor-to-student ratio, increased the number of classes started each year and developed a program to give soldiers another chance, he said.
Eight years ago, about 43 percent of the students graduated from Special Forces medic training, considered the most difficult and demanding Special Forces career training, he said. Nowadays, about 80 percent finish, he said.
“No one thought that could be done,” Parker said.
Military editor Henry Cuningham can be reached at cuninghamh@fayobserver.com or 486-3585.

http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=275320
 

Snaquebite

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
102
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NC
Parker said...Parker said....

I noticed they didn't interview any of the instructors. I talk to some weekly...

Nowadays, about 80 percent finish, he said.

and from what I'm told do not meet the standard of those before them.....
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
Pretty bold statement...

...and from what I'm told do not meet the standard of those before them.....

We, well some of us anyhow, are exceeding the standard. ;) There will always be those who believe they went through the last hard class. I am even guilty of it and I just graduated...

Crip
 

DoctorDoom

Size: Extra Asian
Verified Military
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
421
I think I just found my ideal posting in a few years...

and from what I'm told do not meet the standard of those before them.....

I don't want to ask an inappropriate question or be seen to be stirring the pot, but what are the instructors' specific complaints? Or is it general dissatisfaction? Please tell me to pound sand if I am out of line.
 
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