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NEWS | Aug. 2, 2020

Dallas Native trains Hospital Corps on front lines of Navy's fight against Coronavirus

By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach Navy Office of Community Outreach

Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Olds, a native of Dallas, is playing a critical role in training the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps in the ongoing fight against a worldwide pandemic.


“The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic brought an invisible enemy to our shores and changed the way we operate as a Navy,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. "The fight against this virus is a tough one, but our sailors are tougher. We must harden our Navy by continuing to focus on the health and safety of our forces and our families. The health and safety of our sailors and their families is, and must continue to be, our number one priority.”


Olds, a hospital corpsman, is a basic program instructor at (METC), a state-of-the-art DoD healthcare education campus that trains military medics, corpsmen and technicians to protect sailors and their families by learning the latest in health care and training.


Olds is a 2005 W. W. Samuell High School graduate. According to Olds, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Dallas.


“I learned growing up in my hometown of Dallas, I can get through anything in life as long I keep pushing forward,” Olds said. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”


The U.S. Navy Hospital Corps is the most decorated career field in the Navy. Corpsmen have earned 22 Medals of Honor, 179 Navy Crosses, 959 Silver Stars and more than 1,600 Bronze Stars. 20 ships have been named in honor of corpsmen.


In its century of service, the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps has supported millions of sailors and Marines in wartime and peace around the world. As the years have progressed, technological innovations are transforming medical training for the next generation of hospital corpsmen, according to Navy officials.


“The legacy of the Hospital Corps means so much to me due to the heritage and us being the most decorated corps,” Olds said. “We have been in so many battles in U.S. history. We treated the injured, and getting them safely back to their families was a priority for us.”


METC, located on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the largest enlisted healthcare education campus in the world. It employs the latest in medical training technology and evidenced-based strategies that enhance learning and advance educational practices across the globe.


According to Navy officials, METC is recognized as a global leader in allied-health education and training and is an adaptable learning organization that allows for future expansions and rapid responses to the developing landscape of military medicine and evolving civilian medical practices.


“METC’s mission is vital to force readiness and the nation, as we produce the finest medics, corpsmen, and technicians,” said Capt. Thomas Herzig, METC commandant. “When students graduate, they augment active duty, guard and reserve component military medical teams. Whether heading to new assignments around the world or returning home to support their local communities, these new graduates will be ready.”


As a member of the U.S. Navy, Olds as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition that dates back centuries. Their efforts, especially during this time of challenge brought on by the Coronavirus, will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who provide the Navy the nation needs.


“I am grateful to serve in the world's greatest Navy as a hospital Corpsman because it has provided me with all the avenues I need to succeed in life,” Olds added. “I just hope to accomplish all I can so that when my career is over, I can look back on it and say I made a difference, but most of all, I made my family proud.”