Fort Polk, La. –
Bayne-Jones Army Community hospital conducted periodic health screenings, immunizations and labs for Marines from the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment during their annual two week training at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana on July 22.
Maj. Timothy Greene, company commander, 1/23rd Marine Regt, said the reserves primary mission is to augment active duty during time of war.
“The metric is 95 percent dental and 90 percent medical readiness,” he said. “Even if we are proficiently trained in maneuver warfare, if we aren’t medically and dentally ready it would usurp that process, preventing us from activating and augmenting active duty forces.”
Greene said their chain of command’s goal is to achieve the 90 percent rate. The medical support BJACH provided ensured his unit reached that goal.
“We’ve had nothing but a positive experience,” he said, “The medical support has been phenomenal, we’re getting 65 percent of our immunizations and [have] had our audiograms done. This is our third time training at Fort Polk. The ranges are outstanding, and range control is the best we’ve ever worked with in accommodating our training objectives.”
Tracy Tidwell, clinical nurse in charge of Soldier medicine, helped coordinate this event for more than 50 Marines.
“It’s a readiness rodeo,” she said. “All DoD service components have annual readiness requirements in order to be ready to deploy. Vision, hearing, dental, periodic health assessment, and different labs and immunizations are required routinely or for deployment.”
Lance Cpl. Mason Brennan, infantry machine gunner, 1/23rd Marine Regiment, said they had been in the field for a week before coming to the SCMH for their immunizations.
“It feels good to be able to get my medical readiness requirements out of the way,” he said. “We are trying to make sure we are all up to date and medically ready if we get called up to deploy.”
Tidwell said the Marines were able to get their labs done at BJACH, and immunizations were conducted at the Soldier Center Medical Home clinic.
“We are an Army base but we are all here to take care of service members,” she said. “If we can ensure the medical readiness of any service member, regardless of branch, to me that is our mission.”
Tidwell said as the hospital transitions to the Defense Health Agency, and begins using the MHS Genesis electronic health record, it will be easier to provide support to sister services.
“Medical readiness is the number one priority of the Surgeon General,” she said. “As the daughter of a Marine, it was an honor for me to support this mission. I am truly honored and humbled every day to serve the men and women who are willing to fight for our freedom.”