Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Wimmer, a 35-year-old hospital corpsman from Sheboygan, Wis., at first sight would be mistaken for a Marine rushing into an overwatch position.
The only thing that gives him away as to being a corpsman is his large medical bag and his Navy rank insignia.
“If you didn’t know he was in the Navy before you met him, you would assume he’s a Marine,” said Cpl. Jade A. Tanguay, a 29-year-old motor transportation mechanic from Chesterfield, Mich.
Wimmer is a sheriff’s deputy for the county of Sheboygan and uses his training frequently on patrols in Fallujah with 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Personnel Security Detachment.
The battalion is currently conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar province in direct support of Regimental Combat Team 5.
He is a great asset to PSD because of his job as a corpsman, but also with his knowledge as a sheriff’s deputy.
“I have extensive experience in corrections and also as a sheriff’s deputy,” Wimmer said. “I can identify when people are lying and when they are telling the truth.”
Wimmer has been charged with sensitive sight exploitation.
“I am responsible for evidence collection, handling and detainee processing to help ensure all the necessary steps are taken to aid in the prosecution of a terrorist,” Wimmer said.
He always wants to be the first one to enter a room and on the front lines of a patrol.
“We definitely need to have him; he is willing to be a grunt, but when we need him as a corpsman he’s right there,” said Lance Cpl. David L. Admire, a 26-year-old machine gunner from Clever, Mo. “He plays a very important role in the PSD.”
Wimmer is looked to as a father figure to many of his younger Marines in the PSD.
“He is one of the best guys in this unit. He acts as a father figure for a lot of these guys,” Tanguay said. “He has a kind heart and does a lot for these guys outside of his duties as a corpsman and Marine.”
Wimmer, as a corpsman, fully believes in prevention being better than a cure.
“If I can go into an overwatch position and prevent someone from getting hurt, I would much rather do that than wait around for it to happen,” Wimmer said.
Wimmer takes in as much as he can from Marines in the PSD, but continuously forces them to practice lifesaving techniques to ensure they know how to take care of themselves and others in case he is unable to tend to them during a combat situation.
“They have to pass my personal test for me to trust them to be combat lifesavers in case something happens to me,” Wimmer said. “I put them in real combat situations. I make a Marine lie on the floor and make another Marine provide care for different wounds as I yell at them and put them under a great amount of stress like they would be under in a combat situation.”
By Lance Cpl. Stephen McGinnis