Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Camp Pendleton Tactical Combat Casualty Course (TCCC)

I spent the last week at Camp Pendleton living a surreal life. The week leading up to my TAD was stressful because I was convinced I had packed away my cammies and combat boots. I scrambled at the last hour trying to find men's size 3 1/2 R combat boots or women's size 6 R. First clue: you can't buy them off the shelf.

Fortunately, while unpacking boxes from our recent move, I found my boots, still neatly stenciled with my maiden name and the tops folded down and laced, ready for inspection. Well, except for all the scuff marks on the toes. But, no worries. Field conditions mean no spit shine.

I spent the last night at home sewing on my name tapes and repairing the dry rot that ravaged the right rear pocket of one set of woodland poplins. I also repaired the shoulder seam of the blouse.

I started traveling at 1620 on 27 August, Guam time, and finally arrived at my destination at 0130 28 August, California time. I traveled from Guam to Narita, to Honolulu, to San Francisco and then to San Diego. My travel wasn't over until I caught the Cloud-9 shuttle to Camp Pendleton and then it wasn't just inside the front gate. Oh, no. It was the last gate before reaching Orange County. At that point, the Navy might have been better served to have had me land in LA and take a shuttle south to Camp Pendleton. I finally got to bed, which consisted of a cot and a sleeping bag, at 0200, then woke up to catch the government van to the chow hall at 0615.

You can read more about what I learned at TCCC here:
Naval Operational Medicine Institute

If I were to go on an IA now, I would feel a lot more confident about my abilities to save lives. And, as an instructor, I feel much more capable teaching young corpsmen how to keep themselves and their Marines alive.