Coast Guard releases investigation memorandum on live tissue training

Coast Guard Headquarters News
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard has released today the Final Action Memorandum of an administrative investigation into allegations of misconduct during live tissue training held in March 2012.

According to the Final Action Memorandum the live tissue training conducted in March 2012, while controversial, was both mandated and conducted in a professional way.  The memo also notes that no Coast Guard members violated any law, regulation or standard of conduct while participating in this training.

“Neither the administrative investigation nor the PETA video revealed any evidence that Coast Guard personnel violated any law, regulation, or standard of conduct while participating in mandated training.  As such, no disciplinary actions are warranted,” said Vice Adm. Manson Brown, Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Mission Support.

In the Final Action Memorandum, Brown directs several Coast Guard organizations to continue to closely scrutinize the existing policies regulating live tissue training. Among those, the Admiral asks the offices of Human Resources and the office of Response Policy, Counterterrorism and Defense Operations to compare and align current Coast Guard policies with those of the Department of Defense, in addition to evaluating available alternatives that could eliminate the use of live animals in the training.

The Tactical Medical Manual, Commandant Instruction M16601.16, promulgated in June 2009 defines the Coast Guard’s policy on Tactical Combat Casualty Care. A three tiered medical response system is integrated with Coast Guard personnel deployed to hostile environments in support of DOD missions. This system ensures appropriate and timely medical response to injuries. One of these three layers is Combat Lifesaver, which includes the ability to conduct an assessment of the airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and vital signs and perform the appropriate life-saving emergency intervention. The Combat Lifesaver Training certification includes live tissue training for these time-critical emergency interventions, which is consistent with DOD standards and policies.

Tactical Combat Casualty Training, which includes live tissue training, prepares Coast Guard corpsmen and combat life savers to diagnose and successfully treat wounds they may encounter when deployed in support of DOD operations.  Effective combat trauma training and treatment results in lower fatality rates for deployed troops. The Coast Guard currently has more than 250 personnel assigned to the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

The Final Action Memorandum can be found here.

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