Medical Monday: New Medical Education and Training Campus

Rear Adm. Bob Kiser, MC USN, Commandant, Medical Education & Training Campus. Official photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

The New Medical Education & Training Campus is Open for Business

By Rear Adm. Bob Kiser, MC USN, Commandant, Medical Education & Training Campus

As many of you know, the Military Education & Training Campus in San Antonio is the largest consolidation of service training in defense history.  METC is an integrated tri-service education and training school to prepare our Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen to save lives on the battlefield.   We are committed to one integrated inter-service education and training system that leverages the assets of all defense health-care practitioners for the benefit of each of our uniformed services.

METC supports the bulk of the training requirements for the medical enlisted force.  We train the world’s finest Medics, Corpsmen, and Techs; supporting our nation’s ability to engage globally.  The term ‘finest’ has three separate applications.

Our graduates will be the finest in their ability to ply their chosen technical trade, be it radiography, pharmacy technology, laboratory technology, or any of the dozens of other skill sets available for instruction.  Our graduates will also be the finest in terms of their ability to function and thrive in their service specific environments.   Finally, METC graduates will the finest in terms of their ability to function in joint and coalition environments.

Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, and Coastguardsmen now train together.  They get to know each other.  They learn from instructors of all services, they share stories and experiences, and are exposed to an educational offering that speaks to the communal and interdependent nature of our medical mission.  They leave knowing what the other services do and that they can trust in their comrades wearing a uniform different from their own.  METC also hosts international students, an area in which we’ll be expanding even further in the coming years.

METC is both a place and an idea.  As a place there are instructional facilities, support buildings, and dormitories that are state-of-the-art and create a milieu where experienced instructors can interact with eager students to accomplish our educational mission.  As an idea, the concept of training together to the highest standard without undue service parochialism interfering with collective success, has created possibilities and advantages that we have never been able to fully grasp before.  The Medical Education & Training Campus is where the place and the idea come together to yield tangible benefits for our students, our services, and our nation.

Within the past year we have seen METC reach its initial operating capability and we will achieve full operating capability in September of 2011.  As of early March 2011 we are hosting approximately 1,400 students on any given day.  That number will rise to about 8,000 students on any given day in September 2011.
Over the next few years METC will become a national strategic resource; where our ability to support the medical enlisted educational mission will have application in terms of fostering enhanced international partnerships, in contributing to educational research and innovation, and when our graduates leave uniformed service, making a significant impact for good as they move into civilian healthcare roles.
I am extremely appreciative of the groundbreaking work that went into making METC a success long before my arrival in May of 2010.  I am also extremely proud of the men and women, of all services, both uniformed and civilian, who give the METC campus life.  Their visionary focus, the willingness to join together as a team, and their relentless dedication to the goodness of our mission: training the world’s finest Medics, Corpsmen, and Techs; supporting our nation’s ability to engage globally, has been the secret of our success.  We have done well, and will continue to do well, because of their energy and heart.  I am honored beyond words to be counted among their number.

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