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News | June 10, 2024

ARC Airmen and NG Soldiers Train to Assist USMEPCOM with Summer Surge

By Derrik Noack

USMEPCOM led training for incoming Air Force Reserve Component (ARC) Airmen and Army National Guard (NG) Soldiers, June 4 – 7, who will serve as prescreen and exam providers. The majority will serve on the Prescreen Support Coordination Center (PSCC), established in the summer of 2022 to tackle prescreen backlogs.

The PSCC was designed to streamline the prescreen review process by enabling providers to remotely assist MEPS with high workloads, making it accessible for requests from all 65 processing stations. Providers working in the center review applicant medical histories, relieving medical staff in the MEPS from this task when they are handling a large number of applicants. (Read more about the launch of the PSCC here: https://www.mepcom.army.mil/Media/News/Article/3079092/mepcom-hones-virtual-capabilities/)

“Thank you for what it is you’re bringing to the accessions community,” said Col. Megan Stallings, USMEPCOM commander, while providing opening remarks at the training. “We greatly appreciate you volunteering to be a part of this important mission. Each one of you is going to make a difference every day.” 

Eight ARC providers and two National Guard providers will join the PSCC, and two more ARC providers will deploy to a MEPS to conduct medical exams. The twelve providers join the team at a critical time, known as the Summer Surge.

“I act as the PSCC first sergeant,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Melissa Laboy, USMEPCOM medical accessions NCOIC. “I rank the MEPS in priority each day based on demand and then assign personnel from the cell as needed. With summer approaching, those demand numbers are increasing. I’m glad to have more joining the team right now. The help is coming at the right time.”

The training at USMEPCOM covered equipment and account overviews as well as a variety of topics and breakout sessions. Sector Medical Officers crafted the training agenda with a primary objective of achieving standardization.

“When they come here, that gives us time to troubleshoot accounts and and get them started on the standardized fashion of how USMEPCOM wants this done,” said Dr. Ashley Jackson, Western Sector medical officer. “Really, standardization can’t come from 65 different MEPS teaching someone how to do something. It must come centrally. This in-person training allows for that.”

When the PSCC initially launched two years ago, it was made up of only four providers. With the addition of the reservists and NG Soldiers, there will be 46 available providers in the center for the MEPS to utilize. Most of the ARC and NG providers will serve in their roles until the end of the fiscal year.

“I read the email from my unit and really wanted to help with recruit accessions, so I volunteered,” said Air Force Capt. Tanika Martin, physician assistant with the 175th Wing of Wayfield Air National Guard Base. “Listening to the leadership here, and the impact I will have, makes me even more excited to do something different.”