FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, received instruction and tested on First Aid while in a field environment on Fort Knox, June 30, 2024. First Aid training equips Cadets with the knowledge to be able to assess an emergency scene, provide appropriate care and administer basic lifesaving first aid in a combat setting.

The Individual First Aid Kit is a properly packed tactical first aid kit that is a crucial piece on a Soldier’s Fighting Load Carrier. In a combat setting, every FLC is equipped with an IFAK because this is the one thing that could save a person in a life-threatening situation.

As future army officers, Cadets must be prepared to handle medical emergencies in both training environments and combat situations. The life-saving skills that the Cadets have gained from First Aid training can be used on injuries to themselves or others in need of care.

First Aid is an important training to have as a Soldier in any branch of the military. This training aims to ensure that Cadets are equipped to handle injuries from minor cuts to trauma wounds and build confidence in their ability to respond effectively in emergency situations.

“Having the knowledge of First Aid in my career is crucial because of the damage the weapons systems can do to me and other people,” said Cadet Michael Barnes, from the University of North Georgia. “Being able to render aid on the spot is crucial.”

During instruction, Cadets receive the core components of First Aid. In the Army, Tactical Combat Casualty Care is a set of guidelines developed to reduce preventable deaths while maintaining operational success. These guidelines include:

Care Under Fire: Providing initial care while under hostile fire.

Tactical Field Care: Care provided once the threat has been neutralized.

Tactical Evacuation Care: Care during evacuation from the battlefield.

On the battlefield, the ability to provide immediate, effective medical care can mean the difference between life and death. By training these Cadets in First Aid, the Army ensures that its future leaders are prepared to save lives and maintain combat effectiveness in the face of adversity.

“Decision-making is an important skill that I grasped from this training today,” said Barnes. “Being able to make a decision on the spot in combat scenarios, such as the ones given in this training, is key for life and death.”

At Advanced Camp, First Aid training aims to equip Cadets with the knowledge to apply tourniquets, conduct basic airway management, and gain an understanding on the principles of triage and evacuation in combat scenarios. Cadets then receive hands-on instruction and apply these skills in a graded simulated combat environment.

Officers are leaders and role models. Demonstrating First Aid skills shows Soldiers the importance of being prepared and caring for their battle buddies. Knowing that an officer can provide First Aid in emergencies builds confidence and trust amongst the unit.

As the army continues to operate in hostile environments, the training provided at Advanced Camp, such as First Aid, remains vital. By instilling these skills in Cadets, the army ensures that its future officers are well prepared to lead and care for their soldiers in any situation.

About the Author: Jordan Chism