ASBP: Two Soldiers, Two Hours, Five Promotion Points
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Two Soldiers, Two Hours, Five Promotion Points

07/06/2016
By Carl Norman, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
It only took two Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers a little more than two hours each to earn five promotion points while saving eight lives.

Army Spc. Jasmine Miles, a dental assistant with the U.S. Army Dental Activity, and Army Spc. Justin McCoy, a biomedical engineer with the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, accomplished their respective feats thanks to a program that GLWACH instituted in September 2015. This program awards a Certificate of Achievement — worth five promotion points — to all GLWACH Soldiers and civilians who complete their fourth whole blood donation to the Armed Services Blood Program.

Miles and McCoy are the first two to reach this milestone.

On average, each blood donation only takes about 30 minutes, so four donations collectively takes about two hours. Due to platelets and plasma being taken from a whole blood donation, they also give two individuals a second chance at life or allow them to recover from illness or injury.

“I didn’t expect to get anything for donating, and it means a lot to receive this,” McCoy said after receiving his certificate. “I’ve been donating as regularly as I can since high school and just started donating with the Armed Services Blood Program. It only takes a short while to donate and those few minutes could be the difference between life and death for someone.”

“I just wanted to help others,” Miles said after receiving her certificate. “This is something I can do, and why not?”

But it wasn’t being five points closer to their sergeant stripes that motived Miles or McCoy.

“It’s all about changing one life – that’s it,” Miles said. “If I help someone and you help someone, then we’re all better in the long run.”

Army Col. Peter Nielsen, then GLWACH commander, instituted the Certificate of Achievement program because he wanted to help introduce Soldiers and civilians to the ASBP and its role within the ranks.

“Having twice deployed with a combat support hospital, I’ve seen firsthand the massive requirements for these lifesaving products,” Nielsen said. “I wanted to somehow thank everyone in my organization for giving of themselves to help others, so what better way than to give them a little boost up the career ladder.”

The ASBP is the official blood collection agency for the Department of Defense. Donated blood helps ill or injured service members and their families worldwide. According to Marty Ricker, ASBP donor recruiter supervisor, approximately 25 percent of all service members admitted to medical facilities in those overseas contingency areas will require a blood transfusion.

Blood donated to the ASBP also helps service members and their families who are treated in military healthcare facilities across the Department of Defense. Ricker said the Military Healthcare System requires 400 units of blood each day. All of that must come from volunteer donors.

“We appreciate everyone who comes out to donate with us and are happy to see programs put into place to recognize those who donate,” said Army Maj. James Burke, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center officer in charge. “Spc. Miles and Spc. McCoy are the first of what we hope will be a large group of COA recipients from GLWACH, DENTAC and other organizations around post that would like to implement this program.”

For more information about the Armed Services Blood Program, visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. For more information about the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center or to set up an appointment to donate, call 573-596-5385 or e-mail Carl.A.Norman2.civ@mail.mil.

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest.  Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award.