FORT POLK, La. –
Maj. Gen. Michael J. Talley, deputy commanding general for operations, U.S. Army Medical Command, visited the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana, today.
While at Fort Polk, Talley conducted key leader engagements with Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital and the senior mission commander. He conducted a professional development session for installation military medical personnel and participated in an orientation tour of the Joint Aide Station Rear and Fort Polk training area.
Talley is a former enlisted combat medic and respiratory technician, who later commissioned as a medical service officer to lead and serve for more than three decades.
Talley discussed the transformation of Army Medicine, the importance of the combat training center and provided his insight on leadership to the attendees.
Talley said leaders must clearly communicate task and purpose to Soldiers.
“Explaining the purpose behind what we do is very important,” he said. “As leaders we need to let those we lead understand the why behind what we do and the decisions we make.”
Talley said it is important to talk about leadership.
“When we think about the revolutionary changes ahead from a military standpoint, we don’t always think about what kind of leader we need to be to accomplish the priorities the Army has for me,” he said. “As leaders we must go beyond being technically and tactically proficient.”
Talley said the American people have bestowed great trust in those who are in the profession of arms, and that a leader’s character and integrity are non-negotiable.
“Mentorship is three-dimensional,” he said. “I have found through the years some of my best mentors have been my subordinates. Welcome mentors anyway you can and get used to feedback from those around you.”
Tally said Army Medicine should prioritize the combat training centers.
“We want to send the best and the brightest to our combat training centers,” he said. “From a strategic perspective JRTC and Fort Polk is critically important to any future major conflicts.”
Talley discussed the national defense strategy and articulated the 2028 vision of Army Medicine: ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive and relevant.
“Our strategy focuses on six lines of effort,” he said. “A good road map and way ahead is through the synchronization and integration of the medical efforts, building readiness, supporting modernization, medical reforms and strengthening alliance and partnerships.”
Capt. Kenny St. Germaine, medical logistician with the 32nd Hospital Center, said the most valuable take away from the session was understanding the future of Army Medicine from a strategic perspective.
“Hearing first hand from the deputy commanding general of operations from MEDCOM about how BJACH and our installation tie into the greater fight,” he said. “I think JRTC as a whole is a readiness builder for our Army’s deployable forces. Having the best leaders here to guide and shape the way our Army fights and deploys is essential.”
Germaine, as a Louisiana native, wants people moving to Fort Polk to know the state and local community are very welcoming for military personnel and their families.
Maj. Carmen Salcedo, surgeon cell liaison officer for JRTC and Fort Polk, provided Talley with a tour of the Joint Readiness Training Center Aid Station-Rear (JAS-R), recent renovations, and day-to-day operations in support of rotational units.
“It was very valuable for Maj. General Talley to visit the JAS-R. Although he’s been stationed here in the past we’ve made some recent improvements to the facility,” she said. “Visiting the JAS-R during a rotation gives him the opportunity to see Army Medicine in action, in support of the combat training center.”
Salcedo said being stationed at JRTC and Fort Polk is a huge learning opportunity.
“We don’t learn the operational side of things working at medical treatment facilities,” she said. “Coordinating with rotational units and supporting the JAS-R has given me so much insight.”
Staff Sgt. Jory Huie, a combat medic with 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, is tasked as the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the JAS-R mission for the current rotation.
“I’m glad the general got to see the JAS-R first hand and hope he sees the value in it,” he said. “None of the medics working here have had any clinical time before. While working in the JAS-R, they have had a month straight working in a clinic; they have one-on-one interactions with providers and receive a lot of great training.”
Huie said having the JAS-R supports the readiness of rotational units.
“We are keeping a lot of people out of the emergency room,” he said. “Having the JAS-R gets Soldiers back into the fight a lot quicker. We have a streamlined process in place from the time a patient arrives through disposition. We are screening, treating and getting Soldiers back into the fight quickly.”
Talley said there are many changes ahead for Army Medicine with the focus moving from healthcare delivery to readiness.
“Medical professionals need to remain trained and ready,” he said. “As long as our Soldiers are getting the best care here and on the battlefield that is all that matters.”