By Tanner Cole
Feature Photo by Katie Gray
Every platoon of the Leader Development and Assessment Course is full of future Army officers, but the fourth platoon of Bravo Company, 12th Regiment is full of future Army doctors.
Five young men in the platoon all share the common dream of serving in the medical field. Chad Larcom, from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, is happy to be going through the training alongside like-minded cadets.
“It doesn’t happen very often that you come to one of these big training event and you do all these infantry tactics and things like that, but you’re doing them with a bunch of guys who want to become physicians,” Larcom said.
Larcom is continuing a family tradition by joining the military. Both his parents were Army officers. He’s known that he wanted to join for years, just like his platoon-mate Max Becks, of the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
“I always wanted to be in the Army since I can remember,” Becks said. “Once I got into school I realized becoming a doctor would allow me to help people, continue school, serve people and be in the Army.”
With so many medics in their tent, everyone is ready to provide a helping hand. They’re carrying each other through the training and becoming inspired by their evaluations and their fellow cadets.
Ryan Pearce, of the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, came into LDAC dreaming of working the behind-the-scenes medical jobs. After hearing first-hand stories from infantrymen being saved by medical professionals, he’s now considering a career closer to the front lines.
“There was this sergeant who told a story of some guy who ran over an IED,” Pearce said. “He was flown 60-feet off the ground and broke a bunch of ribs and feet and stuff. After telling this gruesome story he told us it was him. He was perfectly fine now.”
Now Pearce wants to help soldiers who put themselves in harm’s way. If he pursues this path, he may end up in a secured location overseas working to aid soldiers as they come in with injuries.
Pearce’s patients would be supplied via medevac, the military’s helicopter rescue system for injured individuals on the field of battle. Matthew Nobile, one of his platoon-mates from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, may one day deliver those patients to him.
“The first time I flew I was in a medevac Blackhawk, and I just had a blast,” Nobile said. “It was amazing to see how they do everything while the thing’s just bobbing around.”
Nobile is considering a full career with the military once he completes medical school. The Army would allow him to combine two of his passions: flying and helping people.
The final potential doctor in the platoon is Brandon Pham, of the University of California, Irvine. Just like Nobile, Pham will be pursuing two of his passions by following his goals.
“I want to be a doctor in sports medicine,” Pham said. “I’m really into the physical aspect of just life in general. But even before I wanted to be a doctor I wanted to join the Army.”
If the five men of fourth platoon follow their dreams, they’ll be five of many promising medical officers the Army is producing this summer. Upon their LDAC graduation on August 4th, they each will be one step closer.