Letter to the Editor: Combat training teaches cadets valuable skills

Feb. 2, 2016

An inside look at how ROTC students learn to save lives

Over the winter break from Jan. 11 to Jan. 14, I went through Combat Life Saver (CLS) training with five other cadets from the Badger Battalion. Two medics, SGT Whitney and SPC Roelke from the 135th Medical Company out of Waukesha, came to UW-Whitewater to train us in basic combat casualty care.

We learned many important things, such as when and how to treat a combat casualty and what steps to take after treating one. After learning all about treatment and being shown demonstrations, we got to practice treating our own casualties in active scenarios. During the scenarios, while using fake blood that got everywhere, we cadets were able to practice things like applying a tourniquet to an injured extremity, inserting a nasal phryngeal airway (NPA), and closing up an open chest wound on our battle buddies.

We all had a great time taking turns acting as the casualty and being the combat life saver, but most importantly we received useful and important training that we now have to take with us into our future careers in the military. The skills that we were taught during this training are skills that every soldier should have, especially cadets.

As future leaders of our nation’s Army, we need to know what to do when things do not go according to plan and we need to be the example for our subordinates. Not only that, but to have soldiers who know how to treat casualties is a huge help to our medics who have an extremely stressful job in combat. To be CLS certified and to have the knowledge and the skills of how to treat a casualty, potentially one of our future battle buddies, is extremely important and could mean the difference between life or death for a U.S. Army soldier. I think every cadet in our program should go through CLS training.

Dylan Rockwell