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Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Peters, 22, from Rolla, Mo., leading instructor for the Combat Life Saver course, 1st Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, explains to students what the class is about during a CLS course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 31. The 3-day course was designed to teach any Marine the basic medical skills needed to save lives in combat, when a corpsman isn’t present.

Photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar

Combat Life Saver course: Stepping stone for Marine Corps life-saving skills

31 Aug 2011 | Cpl. Khoa Pelczar

“Just because you’ve done all the steps doesn’t mean your patient is saved. Always look, listen and feel to make sure [the rescue-breathing] is working.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Peters, leading instructor for the Combat Life Saver course, 1st Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, taught 12 Marines from 1st MLG the basic skills needed to save lives in combat during a CLS course here, Aug. 31.

The 3-day course was designed to teach any Marine, regardless of military occupational specialty, the basic medical skills needed to save an injured Marine on the battlefield, when a corpsman isn’t present, explained Peters, 22, from Rolla, Mo.

“The course is broken down with me teaching them how to recognize, treat and manage injuries during the first two days, as well as providing them with time to learn the equipment and do some [practical application],” said Peters. “On the final day, they’ll be tested through a performance evaluation on how well they treat and save the patient’s life in their given scenario.”

Marines learned about caring for a patient under fire, tactical field care and how to conduct a casualty evacuation, Peters explained. He demonstrated both the proper technique and location to apply a tourniquet, showed the students different techniques to open the airway, and taught them the basic rescue breathing technique.

“I’m teaching them the necessary skills they need to know to be the first responder to save someone’s life,” he said. “It’s their responsibility to care for the casualty until they can be evacuated to a safer location for proper treatment.”

Marines are constantly training, whether it’s for combat situations or for saving someone’s life, and the students were eager to learn, Peters said. They knew how important it was for them to pay attention as it could mean lives saved down the road.

“I hope to gain enough knowledge to have the tools to save someone’s life,” said Pfc. Brandon Phillips, 19, from Omaha, Neb., motor transport operator, Headquarters and Service Company, CLR-15, 1st MLG, on his first day of the course. “This is great information and I’ve learned a lot in only one day. I can’t wait to get some more hands-on training during the next few days, and maybe I’ll be able to save someone’s life in the future.”


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