Ibuprofen: The Class

Motrin, one brand name of ibuprofen, is an anti inflammatory drug. Used primarily as non narcotic pain management treatment, Medics are allowed to prescribe Motrin to any soldiers who verbally ask for the medication. Each medic had a bag of twenty or thirty 800mg orange Motrin pills in his aid bag. Once prescribed, medics were to document the administration in the soldiers’ Medical Record via S.O.A.P. (Subjective Objective Assessment and Plan) note. Medical records were maintained and stored in the B.A.S. (Batallion Aid Station) which was managed by the P.A. (Physicians Assistant), the highest ranking Medic in an Infantry Batallion. Per pharmaceutical directions only 800mg should be taken in one dose setting not to exceed a maximum daily limit of 3200mg.

The Monday following the E.F.M.B. test, our P.A. (Physicians Assistant) Lieutenant Bromund, made me teach a class to the Medic Platoon on proper administration, documentation and maintenance of Ibuprophen. Also, I was to include my “recent overdose” in the class. I stood at a podium in the barracks’ Day Room and was to take questions as they came up during my presentation. Ironically, C.J. seemed to ask the most questions during my class.  Each question had to be answered seriously or there were consequences, I was finding out. For every “off the cuff answer” I gave, L.T. Bromund would order me to “push dirt” (do push ups), then give me a chance to “re address the question”. If I was wrong or uninformed he would stop me, give the proper answer, then allow me to continue.

C.J. found this to be very amusing. At one point, I became frustrated with C.J. and expressed such frustration in an invitation to step outside for further discussion. At this point, Lt. Bromund signaled my squad leader, Sgt. Walker, who then ordered me to do flutter kicks “until you show the proper remorse appropriate to the situation”.

The Army has a unique style of handling “in house” justice. I was being made an example to the rest of the platoon. Also, Lt. Bromund was using this experience to teach proper protocol for HIS Aid Station.

Lt. Bromund was an absolute beast. He enlisted in the Army in the early 1980s as a Combat Medic. He volunteered for Airborne School and entered R.I.P. (Ranger Indoctrination Program). R.I.P. was an intense 3 week school acclimating new soldiers to service in one of the Ranger Battalions. Lt. Bromund passed R.I.P. and was attached to 3rd Ranger Batallion, 75th Infantry Regiment. Once there he flourished as a soldier. He was awarded the E.F.M.B. and graduated Ranger School. He participated in the early 1980s invasion of Grenada and was awarded “Combat Jump Wings”, a badge earned only by parachuting into a live combat zone. He was awarded the C.M.B., a Bronze Star for valor and wore the 3rd Ranger Battalion Banner on his right shoulder identifying serving in combat. At the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) he left the Army and attended P.A. school. He re entered the Army as a Commissioned Officer. At Ft. Benning “Home of the Infantry”,  home of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, Airborne School and Kelley Hill (where we currently served) he was a legend. Regardless of my current circumstances, I had the utmost respect for him.

At the completion of my class Sgt. Walker asked me to meet him on the parade field away from the rest of the platoon. I felt I had been over disciplined already. I made a poor decision regarding the Motrin and I understood that. I taught the class in a professional manner and accepted my ” educational exercise therapy” in a professional manner. We just spent over 30 days at N.T.C. and went immediately to the E.F.M.B. test. I’ve been approved for leave in a few weeks to see the woman I was going to propose to and I just wanted to prepare myself for the trip. Enough was enough.

As I marched with irritated determination to the parade field I was preparing to have to fight Sgt. Walker. I was unbuttoning and removing my uniform shirt. The parade field, with all its multiple purposes, was also a place two soldiers could remove their rank and “handle” disagreements without being reprimanded by the U.C.M.J. (Uniformed Code of Military Justice). As I turned to face Sgt. Walker, I noticed he had paperwork in an outstretched hand.

He handed me the paperwork and told me I had 4 hours to wash my uniforms, shine my boots and report for duty. Then he turned and walked away.

The paperwork was ordering me to report to Airborne School by the end of the day.


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