As the fight to contain the new coronavirus continues, one medic in the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion is doing his part to ensure Soldiers and families in the battalion remain safe from the disease.
Sgt. 1st Class Jared Siple, recruiter, Buckeye Recruiting Station, Phoenix West Recruiting Company, is currently serving as the lead medic for the battalion COVID-19 Medical Tracker Team, which oversees both the states of Arizona and New Mexico.
Siple has an extensive background as an Army medic, allowing him to bring significant experience to the battalion’s COVID-19 efforts.
“My Army medicine background started in Mannheim, Germany. There, I was the only medic inside a military prison where I took care of the prisoners, staff, and civilians and helped out at the local clinic on Coleman Barracks,” Siple said. “I also spent five years with the 2nd Infantry Division and have one deployment to Afghanistan with them. Those experiences have helped me bring medical guidance and direction to help aid our local commanders during this time.”
With his specialty in field medicine, Siple said the COVID-19 pandemic is the ideal situation to hone his craft.
“I believe my expertise truly is in field medicine and this situation is certainly the case. With the opportunity to be the Phoenix Battalion senior medic and a member of the 5th Recruiting Brigade COVID-19 Medical Tracker Team, we have helped stay in contact with Department of Army Civilians, service members and their family members,” he said.
“Much like the role of a senior line medic with the infantry, I advise the local command teams, offering my professional medical opinion to aid them in making sound decisions for their respective units moving forward. My past experience allows me to feel ‘comfortable’ with the ‘uncomfortable’ and connections that can help bring much needed assets to our Phoenix battalion,” Siple continued.
Siple described the initial action he took when COVID-19 started to quickly escalate, causing all Army personnel to work from home.
“One of the first things I did to help the battalion out, was to get our own ‘ground zero’ and call every member in our area of operations, to include civilians, and check on them,” Siple explained. “With a basic understanding of the medical jargon on the websites such as the CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) or the John Hopkins site that has a plethora of data, I’ve pulled the meat and potatoes out of those websites in a clear and understanding way.”
Tracking the progress of any service member or dependent who is ill, is a critical task for Siple, who then ensures the relevant information is pushed to the correct channels.
“Anytime a service member or their dependent has been ill or been to the hospital, I track them and follow-up with them to ensure they are getting the care they need,” he continued. “If there are any issues that arise with their care, we step in with aid from local health providers. As a member of the brigade COVID-19 team, I have a direct link to our brigade footprint and help with resources that is unlike any other organization.”
Siple explained how this information is disseminated and plays a role in ensuring the battalion has the resources it needs to remain safe.
“I can quickly push down information from the Office of the Surgeon General, updates that the CDC puts out and gathering medical resources to help the team,” Siple said. “I have helped to advise the battalion on purchasing masks, gloves, thermometers and some overall risk to force measures to ensure our Phoenix Battalion remains safe.”
Siple said a daily medical tracker is filtered through himself and sent to brigade level, which is turned into the United States Recruiting Command to help aid Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commanding general, in making decisions on how recruiters continue to operate.
The results Siple has been seeing battalion wide, have been extremely encouraging, with everyone doing their job to stay safe and healthy.
“I am seeing amazing results. This type of adversity has shown how strong our Phoenix Battalion, our families, and the Army truly is. When I call and screen someone, medically speaking, they have a tone in their voice of deep appreciation,” Siple said. “My heart is full, that as a medic, I can do something to help the team. As the Army Medical Department motto states, ‘To conserve fighting strength.’ I have seen members of the community, our Soldiers, their families and civilians truly rise to the occasion.”
With the COVID-19 threat far from over, Siple said it’s critical to continue social distancing and do everything possible to stop the spread of the disease.
“My advice is, ‘Safety is no accident.’ To help stop the spread of this disease is not about YOU, it’s about YOU not spreading it to your child, mother or others,” Siple said. “I may be strong enough to fight it, but my mother-in-law or child may not. This truly is not a time for ‘me’, it’s a time to show all of our many talents, outside of recruiting, that we can help the team triumph over adversity during this unprecedented time.”