The Marine Corps’ top medical officer visited several units throughout II Marine Expeditionary Force, Aug. 8 through 11.
Navy Rear Adm. Stephen Pachuta, the Medical Officer of the Marine Corps and Director of Health Services for Headquarters Marine Corps, received a first-hand look into the services Camp Lejeune’s Naval medicine provides throughout the base.
"The purpose of our visit here is to get a feel for the operations, primarily focused on the healthcare operations, within II MEF," said Pachuta. "We’re also working with the Naval Hospital to understand the relationships between the delivery of care in the hospital and the relationship with the providers in support to the MEF."
Many units encompass II MEF, but all strive toward one common goal: operational readiness. Having adequately-trained hospital corpsmen, surgeons and dentists are a key component in reaching that goal, said Pachuta.
"As a team, we work very hard to understand where our needs are and where we can help," said Pachuta.
Commanders at all levels ensure their Marines and Sailors meet standard medical and dental requirements, which helps maximize a unit’s readiness to deploy.
"Without trained personnel the mission of the Marine Corps would be significantly challenged," said Navy Capt. Brian G. Tolbert, the commanding officer of 2nd Medical Battalion. "Marines and Sailors… all know that if they are injured they will be receiving the finest medical care available."
"During my visit and speaking with key leaders throughout the MEF, it just reinforced their heavy operational tempo. They’re out in many areas of the world doing real-world operations and training," said Pachuta.
In order to meet operational commitments, the medical community throughout the Marine Corps will continue to strive for improvements.
"We’ve had a 97% combat survival rate over the last 15 years of war. That just does not happen by accident," said Pachuta. "We’re well trained, we’re well prepared and we’re well led."