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Face of Defense: Navy Corpsman Shares Skills With Marines

By Marine Corps Pfc. Daniel Hosack
Marine Barracks Washington, 8th and I

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 – A native of South Amboy, N.J., is helping to save the lives of Marines here by sharing his skills as a corpsman.

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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Pappas explains to Marines how to properly apply a bandage on a wound during a Combat Lifesaver Course at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Jan. 31, 2013. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Dan Hosack

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Pappas, one of three Navy corpsmen stationed at Marine Barracks Washington, taught the Combat Lifesaver Course to 30 Marines on Jan. 31. The course teaches critical battlefield first-aid techniques designed to save the lives of Marines injured in combat.

The three-day course gives Marines the hands-on instruction needed to provide lifesaving first aid in combat. They learned how to identify burns, treat bone fractures and wounds, and attend to other common battlefield injuries. The Marines also learned how to apply a tourniquet and open an airway, and they were taught how to evacuate fellow injured Marines off the battlefield.

“I think it’s a great course, because it teaches the Marines to take care of each other if something happens to one of them,” Pappas said.

Pappas, who served in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, said he believes the three-day course was time well spent, and that the skills taught in the course increase the probability of Marines returning home if injured in combat.

“A course like this one is vital, because it increases the amount of Marines we can get back alive to their families,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Barbarick, a corpsman who taught the course with Pappas. “Our role is to ensure the well-being of mind, body and spirit of all our Marines.”

In his regular duties, Pappas is responsible for the medical care and the overall health and wellness of the Marines he serves with, as well as the management of the unit’s “sick call,” the military’s equivalent of an urgent care center.

Pappas said he plans on staying in the Navy and entering the Navy Nurse Corps.


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