- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2020

U.S. Army Ranger medics made history last summer by saving lives on the battlefield by literally tapping into the veins of universal blood donors.

Military officials have started the process to award Staff Sgt. Charles Bowen and Sgt. Ty Able, from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, for their actions under fire last August in Afghanistan.

The men performed a technique called Ranger O-Low Titre protocol (ROLO), which uses a unit’s universal blood donors in dire circumstances.

“To provide this level of care, Bowen and Able, had to ignore their own survival instincts and concentrate on their patients,” Lt. Col. Ryan Knight, M.D., 75th Ranger Regiment Command Surgeon, said in a recent press release. “They displayed the highest levels of courage as they repeatedly placed their patients’ survival above their own safety.”

The pair’s heroics took place in Wardak province during a raid, which required a helicopter insertion.

“As the assault force maneuvered on a shooter who barricaded himself into a fighting position, they were rocked by a large explosion near the breach of the target compound,” the unit’s press release said. “When the debris landed and the dust settled, three Rangers were wounded in action and the fight for their lives began. … As this [chaos swirled], the casualty collection point was taking effective enemy machine gun fire and even received a fragmentation grenade from as close as 15 meters away.”

Staff Sgt. Bowen’s and Sgt. Able’s lifesaving efforts also required them to apply multiple tourniquets to victims, exhaust two units of cold-stored whole blood, control hemorrhaging, and perform an emergency cricothyroidotomy, Army Times reported Saturday. 

“Sgt. Able’s treatment of casualties, superb medical treatment recommendations, and overall calm demeanor while within accurate small arms and fragmentation grenade range undoubtedly saved the lives of his fellow Rangers,” said Cpt. Edmund J. Carazo, Bravo Company Commander, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. “His disregard for his own safety while performing life-saving care is exemplary and serves as an example for all Rangers to follow.”

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