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Texas Corpsman Serves With Marines
by USMC Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez - January 17, 2012

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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Israel Rosa, a 26-year-old native of Stanton, Texas, is currently serving as a corpsman and medical advisor with the Regimental Combat Team 5 embedded training team. Recently, Rosa and his team facilitated a five-week combat medic course, which graduated 21 ANA soldiers as certified combat medics.Photo by USMC Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez, Jan. 11, 2012
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Israel Rosa, a 26-year-old native of Stanton, Texas, is currently serving as a corpsman and medical advisor with the Regimental Combat Team 5 embedded training team. Recently, Rosa and his team facilitated a five-week combat medic course, which graduated 21 ANA soldiers as certified combat medics.Photo by USMC Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez, Jan. 11, 2012
 CAMP GARMSIR, Helmand province, Afghanistan (01/11/2012) – Marines and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 5 are gradually shifting to an advisory role, vital to the success of Afghan National Security Forces, and the overall mission of coalition forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

One service member playing a critical role in the partnering mission in southern Helmand is U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Israel Rosa, a corpsman and medical advisor with the RCT-5 embedded training team.

Since joining the Navy in 2006, Rosa has deployed on multiple tours, training military medics in Iraq, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He joined RCT-5's current deployment as a late addition, bringing his valuable experience to the team.

One of Rosa's current roles is advising the Afghan National Army, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps surgeon.

“The brigade surgeon is responsible for the command, control, and administration of all the doctors and medics within the kandaks (battalions) that fall under brigade,” explains Rosa, a 26-year-old native of Stanton, Texas.

“My job as an advisor is to teach him the different tools he can use to manage their medical operations, logistics, training, manpower, clinical procedures, and medical evacuation operations,” Rosa said.

By the end of his deployment, Rosa hopes to have taught the surgeon everything he needs to operate independently.

“Everything I am doing with the brigade surgeon is geared towards the goal of him operating without the help of coalition forces,” Rosa explained.

Recently, Rosa and his team facilitated a five-week combat medic course, which graduated 21 ANA soldiers as certified combat medics. The establishment of the course will help the ANA forces become more independent, when it comes to taking care of the medical needs of their soldiers.

“His expertise, patience and valued insight greatly impacted each medic's progression through the course,” said Chief Petty Officer Michael Donadio, the RCT-5 lead chief petty officer.

“He has given these newly trained medics a solid foundation for the overall success of the ANA medic program,” added Donadio, a 30-year-old native of Sylva, N.C.

Rosa's job as a corpsman doesn't stop with his advisor role. He is also one of the few corpsmen on the ETT, responsible for providing medical support during operations and caring for the 19 Marines on the team.

“I remember after coming back from Iraq in '08 a couple of my Marines went off to Vegas for the weekend while I stayed behind (in Camp Pendleton)” recalls Rosa. “I got a call at 3:00 in the morning from a nurse that worked at one of the emergency rooms in Vegas.”

“The nurse then started telling me about how one of my Marines was brought to the ER,” said Rosa “Once he awoke he started getting aggressive and asking for his corpsman refusing to receive treatment and ripping out his IV until he could talk to his Doc.”

“That's when the nurse got his phone and looked up my name to call me,” continued Rosa. “I talked to him and calmed him down...I let him know he was in a safe place and told him to quit acting like an idiot.”

Rosa can recall many stories about dealing with his Marines and their problems, but the camaraderie that accompanied these various ailments and hardships is what makes him love his job.

“He has a genuine concern for the wellbeing and success of each of his sailors, Marines and his ANA counterpart,” Donadio said.

“There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them and I know they got my back when I need it,” said Rosa. “They have had it on more than one occasion...that's what I like best about being, not just a corpsman, but a Doc.”

In the coming months, Rosa will continue his work providing medical advice to ANA medics, while still caring for his Marines. His job will bring long hours and often arduous conditions, but Rosa knows what needs to be done to accomplish his mission.

“A corpsman's job is 24/7,” Rosa said. “Whether you're on deployment or back in the States.”

By USMC Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez
Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2012

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