The majority of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets undertaking the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. have limited experience completing tactical operations, but for 4th Regiment Cadet Justin Brockman from Kewaskum, Wis., the events at LDAC seemed rather tame after being deployed to Iraq twice as a combat medic during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“You really have to revert back to the basics,” Brockman said. “I have to humble myself and take a whole new experience on, as well as try to share as much knowledge as I can with my fellow Cadets here. Some people don’t know everything about the Army and I’m able to help them out. If they have questions, I’m always there. People have had medical concerns and instead of having to go to a medic, they come to me and I take care of them.”
Brockman, a criminal justice student at Campbell University, was first deployed for a year in Oct. 2008 as a medic, and as a noncommissioned officer for his four-month deployment in July 2011. When he learned that he was going back to Iraq for a second time, Brockman was ready.
“I was ready to do my job,” said Brockman. “I like doing what I do. I like helping people, taking care of people, saving lives, and working with people very closely. Both times I deployed with different groups and we were very tight-knit groups.”
Brockman was relieved to come home to his five year old son Andrew both times, but can’t deny how valuable his time was in Iraq. Brockman’s experience as a medic overseas made him realize he wanted to come back and become a commissioned officer.
“I learned a lot of medical stuff, did a lot of operations, took care of soldiers, and did what I love,” said Brockman. “That’s why I want to continue being a medical service corps officer.”
Story by Alecia Pasdera.