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Welcome Aboard

  1. On behalf of the entire staff of the Medical Support Schools, we want to say congratulations on your orders, and welcome to the world of military medicine! We look forward to your arrival and trust you are prepared to accept the challenge before you. Below you will find links to the Training Center and HS “A” School websites.  Please take the time to visit these websites, as they may answer a lot of your questions: Welcome Aboard

  2. Your first week of class, you will be taking a Petty Officer Indoctrination Class required by the Training Center. The next seven weeks will be in EMT School. Here you will get you started on your way through "A" School. Prior to your arrival, we highly encourage you to memorize the EMT skills on the internet site, (Medical and trauma patient assessment) which can be accessed thru the following link:  EMT Skill Sheets.

  3. Upon successful completion of EMT class, your last 16 weeks will take you into the heart of military clinical medicine. You will be assigned Class Advisors and a mentor to help you throughout the remainder of your “A” School experience.

  4. If for any reason you will not be attending HS "A" School, please contact your current unit’s chain of command immediately.

  5. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you be fully prepared while attending HS "A" School.

    • Update your uniforms!  The Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) will be your class uniform unless otherwise prescribed by your class advisor.  Bring a full sea bag, with all required uniform items.  There will be a sea bag inspection during school. TRACEN is equipped with a small exchange and limited uniform items.  For females it is imperative you bring a few sports bras/sports tops due to the practical exams.  PT gear is required to perform practical scenarios while attending school.  If you no longer have your issued Coast Guard PT gear, it is available through the UDC at UDC web site.  You may wear plain dark blue shorts/sweatpants and t-shirt.  You must also have a watch with the ability to read seconds (second hand or digital counter) for taking vital signs.

    • Please bring your Health Record or ensure it is mailed from your unit with your PDR. These items will be collected the first Monday afternoon if hand carried. Due to the nature of the training requirements, it is critical that your Health Record is with you at the TRACEN.

    • Space is limited in the barracks. Up to Three people are assigned to a room, so only bring the basics and not all your worldly possessions. Computers, TV's, and stereos are authorized. Individual phone and internet (dial-up and high-speed) services are available for a fee; you must provide or purchase your own equipment. It’s also recommend that you bring towels and two padlocks since the BEQ does not issue them. Weather in Petaluma fluctuates dramatically, so prepare accordingly with both uniform and civilian clothing.

    • Ensure all family, personal and/or financial affairs are taken care of before departing your unit. While attending school you are limited to a 50 mile radius of travel from the base. Anything outside of that range is considered Out Of Bounds and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through the HS School chain of command.

    • The first day of EMT is dedicated to the CPR prerequisite for the EMT curriculum. Students must complete the EMT portion satisfactorily before continuing with HS “A” School. If you hold a current state EMT license, or have a lapsed NREMT registration within the last two years, contact EMT School.  Due to the challenging nature of our “A” School we strongly encourage you to complete your E-4 EPME signoffs and test before departing your current unit. Though it is not mandatory to have this completed before arrival, we have historically seen students struggle when trying to study their medical homework along with E-4 requirements. There will be no class time dedicated to the completion of any EPME requirements. It must be accomplished by you during your off time. To graduate as an E-4 you must pass the EPME. You must successfully pass the NREMT to graduate.

    • As required by CIM1020.8F, if you are onboard TRACEN for A School during the months requiring weigh-ins (April & October), you are required to adhere to the instructions directives.

HS “A” School is a fast paced and challenging course, which will challenge you to do things you have never done before. A positive attitude with the expectation of becoming a Health Services Technician will better prepare you to succeed in this course and in our rate. Our instructors are looking forward to meeting you during your training.  If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered in this letter or the Training Center's homepage, please contact “A” School.

See also: Reporting to TRACEN Petaluma

Contacting HS "A" School:

When you receive orders to HS "A" School, you may contact us for any questions you have. Soon after receipt of your orders you will receive a Welcome Aboard Letter detailing who your Class Advisors are and how to contact them directly.

The HS community is small, and usually allows us the luxury of providing personalized assistance.
Please do not be afraid to call. We welcome the opportunity to assist you in this important transition in your career and life--you will soon be one of us!

Your Travel Orders:

Usually, when ordered to HS school, you will receive PCS DUINS (Permanent Change of Station Duty Under Instruction) orders. These orders can be difficult to interpret. You should receive these entitlements:

If your PCD DUINS says otherwise, verify the information via another source. Do not let a mistake adversely affect your personal situation.


All members assigned to HS "A" school will be assigned a barracks room whether accompanied, unaccompanied, or single.
Barracks Information

Bringing your family:

If you bring your family, you will not be eligible for base housing. Housing is only available for those members who are expected to occupy a unit for more than one year.
Please contact your class advisor for additional information.


Students will stand duty at the TRACEN Ralph R. Nix Clinic, and local hospitals. You will also complete multiple ambulance ride-a-longs, during your EMT portion of school. This duty can be during the school day, evenings or weekends, and will aid in the practical experience of direct patient care.

What to Expect:

Muster in the uniform of the day (Tropical Blue Long with Combination Covers) at 0650 in the Horsley Hall Quarter Deck area by the front desk. After meeting with your INDOC Petty Officer, you will be marched to the command building to observe morning colors and then to the chapel. There you will receive an in brief by various personnel from TRACEN Petaluma regarding base and student regulations.


Bring a full sea bag with you. Your Class Advisor's will be conducting a sea bag inspection during your time here at A-School. It is important you arrive with a full sea bag.


Inspections are conducted on your first day for uniform and grooming standards. They are then conducted weekly at the discretion of your Class Advisor. You will also have your barracks room inspected on a weekly basis.

Last Modified 1/12/2016