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Airman teaches Marines combat survival skills

  • Published
  • By Airman Holden S. Faul
  • 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
It’s not every day that an Airman gets to experience firsthand what it means to “train like a Marine,” let alone teach them a few skills of his own.

Senior Airman Ronnie Perez, a 460th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, recently joined 35 Marines from Company A, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion during their summer field training Aug. 16-18 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Due to the nature of a Marine’s military occupational specialty, they aren’t able to implement their field skills as frequently as an Airman. This training was designed to sharpen those warfighting skills all Marines must be proficient in. During the field exercise, the participants conducted ruck marches, implemented land navigation skills and practiced tactical combat medical interventions and squad-level tactics and movements.

Helping instruct others on important topics such as medical survival is something Perez said he loves to take part in.

“As an emergency medical technician and self-aid (and) buddy care instructor, I welcome any chance to help train military members from any branch that may see combat as part of their job,” Perez stated. “This kind of training will potentially save lives.”

Perez taught the Marines multiple life-saving skills, from how to assess injuries to preventing another service member from bleeding to death.

“Senior Airman Perez was a vital asset to this training,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Michaud, a Company A, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion electronic warfare operator and analyst. “His training was very intuitive, and I was able to take away both knowledge and skills on how to properly treat any combat related injury.”

Participating in exercises like this is nothing new to Perez. In the past, he has trained multiple times with different explosive ordinance disposal units, Army units and twice before with the Marine battalion.

Perez has had opportunities to learn squad-based tactics, weapons firing and how to safely handle explosives. His familiarization with these exercises allowed him to provide more input during the training.

“He had ideas for additional training exercises we didn’t have planned,” said Master Sgt. Brian P. Geraghty, the Company A, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion senior enlisted member. “He offered to find expired medical equipment we could use as assets for training. After talking about the classes he could provide, it just made perfect sense to incorporate them into this training.”

Although there’s bit of an interservice rivalry, Perez fit right in with the Marines.

“They were extremely welcoming,” Perez said. “They started to call me ‘Doc,’ which is a term of endearment for U.S. Navy corpsmen. The Marines have a very strong camaraderie, and I don’t think I’ve met nicer people.”

Perez said he hopes all service members involved in any sort of medical training understand how important it is.

“The only takeaway that matters, at least for me, is that everyone is well trained and can perform the lifesaving steps appropriately while stressed out and under pressure,” Perez said. “Maybe one day, someone will be in combat and will save their teammate’s life, or even their own, due to the training they receive.”