5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY --
Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Lada, the senior line corpsman with Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), was awarded the Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist (FMF) badge, Nov 6.
On and off the battlefield, corpsmen are responsible for the medical well-being of the Marines in their unit. To effectively integrate into a designated Marine Corps unit, especially a line company, corpsmen must learn the basics of being a Marine and learn the history of the Corps.
The FMF badge is most commonly earned by Hospital Corpsman and Religious Programs Specialists, although it can be attained by any Sailor directly supporting Marine Corps units. In the eyes of those familiar with the designation, the badge symbolizes a Sailor’s efforts to establish themselves as an asset to Marines.
“The FMF pin is what separates a doc from a corpsman,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Park, the assistant leading petty officer with Headquarters and Service Company, BLT 2/1, 11th MEU. “Being an FMF corpsman shows dedication to your craft and that you can operate successfully in the Fleet Marine Force. During the time I’ve worked with Lada, he has shown all of these qualities.”
Lada acts as the lead corpsman for Golf Company. His mission is to ensure Marines are at 100 percent medical readiness at all times, whether that is during combat operations or in a garrison environment. According to Chief Petty Officer Adolfo Gonzalez, leading chief petty officer, BLT 2/1, 11th MEU, Lada has maintained a high standard for the 11th MEU and has earned his pin.
“I’ve held that line before and I know firsthand what it takes to do well with an infantry company,” said Gonzalez. “I know he’s doing what he needs to be doing when a first sergeant goes out of his way to say good things about him. He has done a great job in earning the FMF pin and I know he’s going to continue to earn that pin every day.”
Even though Lada has received the FMF badge, he knows his efforts don’t stop now.
“It gives me a lot of pride to wear this, because I know my job and it’s nice to be recognized for it,” said Lada. “It’s my job now to pass on my knowledge to those under me. I have five other corpsmen under me and I got to make sure they learn the things that I learned and set them on the right path.”
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 11th MEU are currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.