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Old 27 December 2009, 03:40
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Combat Medic

This is a term I have heard a lot. Mostly with people who are not associated with the military or with, more often, people who are considering joining ie. teenagers. I hear the title "Combat Medic". I am enlisting to be a "Combat Medic" or "My goal is to become a Combat Medic" etc.

Is this an actual title, or is it something society, by nature of being at war has added? Do you actually enlist to become a "Combat Medic?" I work with kids in the Civil Air Patrol and its something I have heard in that area. Id like to set the record straight so my cadets don't run around sounding lame.
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Old 27 December 2009, 04:52
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Combat Medic is slang, but is used a lot.

Officially, in the Army they're called a 'Health Care Specialist' (MOS 68W, used to be 91B and called 'Medical Specialist') and in the USMC and USN they're called a 'Hospitalman/Corpsman' (lot's of different sub groups depending on rank...but non-have 'Combat' in their title). In the USAF I think they're called 'Medical Apprentice' or 'Technician', but you'd have to check with a Zoomie to be sure.

There is a CMB ('Combat Medical Badge') that is awarded to 68Ws that treat wounded under fire....but their job title doesn't change.

Off the top of my head, the only job titles in the US MIL that have 'Combat' in them are USAF Combat Control Team ('CCT') and Army Combat Engineers (MOS 12B). It would be interesting to see if there's more (i.e. 'Combat Astronaut' or some other cool/obscure MOS).

If I were you I'd just let it go. They'll get the right terms beat into them at basic or boot. There's nothing you can do to stop Cadets from sounding lame.
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Old 27 December 2009, 07:13
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Personally I view 18D's as "Combat Medics. To me it's a discriminator between those who have been formally trained to provide health care in a combat/tactical environment and those who are trained to work in fixed facilities. However, as Kirk indicated it is more of a slang term.
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Last edited by 24/7; 27 December 2009 at 07:16.
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Old 27 December 2009, 07:15
bellbottommarine bellbottommarine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
Combat Medic is slang, but is used a lot.
Agree, and is NOT an enlistment "job title". It just sounds cool.

As a former Hospital Corpsman (EMT-I, 8404 (FMS) and FMF qualified), I definately call myself a "combat medic", especially when talking to civvy's, or others NOT "in the know".
Having the 8404 and FMF attachments as a Corpsman would actually deem you a "combat medic". Without them you are simply a "ward jockey", stuck at a shore command (hospital) or REMF unit, never seeing any "combat".

When you say "I was a Corpsman in the Navy" to most people, they think you were some kind of morgue assistant or something.
Not exactly the mental image I want attached to someone who is actually a care giver.

Someone explained the whole "combat medic" origin to me once long ago, and if memory serves correct, it was first attached to ARMY field medics, to distinguish them from other Army medics that were not "field" qualified.

Now you might say that, "hmm, that sounds odd, I thought ALL medics would be "field" qualified", in truth only a few Medics and Corpsman are actually so qualified.

While I am NOT as up to speed on the Army side of things, in the Navy NOT all Corpsman are FMS (field) qualified. When I went thru Corps School in the mid 80's, it was only every other graduating class that went to FMSS.

While certainly you will want to set the record straight with your cadets, I don't think there is any harm in them using the term "combat medic". As long as they understand, there is no such animal, is not an enlistment "job title", and that in all reality, while they may get to work in health care, they may never make it to become a "combat medic".

There is a long lineage (just have them look up Medics/Corpsmen that are MOH recipients), and if you actually are one, it is the coolest! Bullets whizzin', shit blowin' up around you, all while you've got your hand in the chest of your best friend trying to save his life, and actually succeeding.
Oh Hell ya! Definately cool shit. Something to be very proud of.

CORPSMAN UP!

Last edited by bellbottommarine; 27 December 2009 at 07:27. Reason: additional info....
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Old 27 December 2009, 11:03
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
Combat Medic is slang, but is used a lot.

Officially, in the Army they're called a 'Health Care Specialist' (MOS 68W, used to be 91B and called 'Medical Specialist') and in the USMC and USN they're called a 'Hospitalman/Corpsman' (lot's of different sub groups depending on rank...but non-have 'Combat' in their title). In the USAF I think they're called 'Medical Apprentice' or 'Technician', but you'd have to check with a Zoomie to be sure.

There is a CMB ('Combat Medical Badge') that is awarded to 68Ws that treat wounded under fire....but their job title doesn't change.

Off the top of my head, the only job titles in the US MIL that have 'Combat' in them are USAF Combat Control Team ('CCT') and Army Combat Engineers (MOS 12B). It would be interesting to see if there's more (i.e. 'Combat Astronaut' or some other cool/obscure MOS).

If I were you I'd just let it go. They'll get the right terms beat into them at basic or boot. There's nothing you can do to stop Cadets from sounding lame.
USMC MOS 4600 Combat Camera. Had a Sgt attached to my platoon one time with this MOS. Just took pictures the whole time and didn't answer to anybody. I think there is also Combat Illustrator. Those off the top of my head and also USMC Combat Engineers (which call themselves "Super Grunts")which always gave me a chuckle.
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Old 27 December 2009, 11:12
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"Combat Medic" in the Army is slang for the 91B/68W personnel assigned to Combat Arms units. The medical personnel in those duty positions are pretty good about the term. I.e. they don't use it, or like having it used, until they earn it.

IIRC, a Combat Medic recently earned the Silver Star for her actions in Afghanistan while assigned to 82d Airborne Division.
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Old 27 December 2009, 11:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
"Combat Medic" in the Army is slang for the 91B/68W personnel assigned to Combat Arms units. The medical personnel in those duty positions are pretty good about the term. I.e. they don't use it, or like having it used, until they earn it.

IIRC, a Combat Medic recently earned the Silver Star for her actions in Afghanistan while assigned to 82d Airborne Division.
Thats sounds about right. If your not assigned to a Combat Arms unit I don't think it should be used. Although most I know just reffered to ourselves as Line Medics. I certainly wasn't comfortable being reffered to as a Combat Medic who had never been near combat. Once I earned my CMB I felt comfortable throwing the term out their to describe my role. At Whiskey school it seemed everyone just knew you shouldn't use the term unless you earned your CMB like some of the Drills had. Although this thread is making me want to change my name for some reason lol.

Last edited by CombatMedic1981; 27 December 2009 at 11:42.
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Old 27 December 2009, 11:34
Papa Smurf Papa Smurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
"Combat Medic" in the Army is slang for the 91B/68W personnel assigned to Combat Arms units. The medical personnel in those duty positions are pretty good about the term. I.e. they don't use it, or like having it used, until they earn it.

IIRC, a Combat Medic recently earned the Silver Star for her actions in Afghanistan while assigned to 82d Airborne Division.
Spot on Tracy - she is only the second since WWII:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23547346/
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Old 27 December 2009, 15:25
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Originally Posted by Hostile0311 View Post
USMC MOS 4600 Combat Camera....Combat Illustrator
Those are damn cool sounding MOS's right there guys. ('Hey darlin'...I'm a Marine Combat Illustrator...'). We all know EVERY MOS is crucial and makes the machine move...but seriously...how cool are those two? Potential enlistees pay attention.

Learn something new every day.

Last edited by Ranger1; 27 December 2009 at 15:39.
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Old 27 December 2009, 15:36
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I love the titles people use to make themselves sound high speed. There was a time when Sanitation Engineers were called "Trash-men." Working in the PSD world I constantly hear other PSD types call themselves "Operators," and yes, even "Combat Operators." I'm sorry, I just can't bite off on that. Not that the job doesn't have its dangers, but I fail to see how we are somehow related to the studs who truly are "Operators." I don't think my 3 week WPPS course compares at all to the long walk. Maybe I'm mistaken. Anyhow, now that I've hijacked this, I'll hit the send and move out smartly.

Oh, in case you were wondering the high speed title I want is: Combat Fornicator.

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Last edited by OfficeSloth; 27 December 2009 at 15:44.
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Old 27 December 2009, 16:10
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Old 27 December 2009, 16:17
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every CAP platoon had a Doc.
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Old 27 December 2009, 16:19
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A peer of mine who was the S-2 for a helo squadron insisted on stamping all his products with "HMLA-*** COMBAT INTELLIGENCE TEAM". Gaaaaaay. Don't get me wrong, I'm not shortchanging the critical important of intel in aviation operations (as should be obvious by my MOS), but really? Other than a couple of photo recce missions in low threat areas (which were more him doing "combat tourism" than anything else), this guy never left the wire. There was nothing "combat" about him or me, especially compared to the pilots we were supporting--the difference between us is that I knew it and happily accepted my role, and he felt the need to dress it up. (And the sad thing is, he actually was a pretty good intel officer.)
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Old 27 December 2009, 16:24
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During my time in the Army (87-95), we were All trained as "Medical Specialists" (91A/91B which was a combination of EMT-B/I and Nursing Aid training).

Most of the female (and a small % of male) "Medical Specialists" went to Meddac and Medical support units. These people were issued white hospital uniforms from Central Supply.

Most of the males (and a few females) went to line units. (Inf, ADA, ENG, etc.)

For example, we had NO female medics during the 18 months I was assigned to 7th ID.

We had 2 female medics when I was assigned to 20th Eng Bde, 27th Eng Bn (cbt)(abn). The females were assigned to the map makers/surveyors. The other 40 medics in the brigade were assigned to the 2 Sapper (combat engineer) battalions.

Generally speaking, Combat Medics were assigned to Combat/Direct Combat support Units. Combat medics were NEVER issued white uniforms unless it was for Northern Warfare Training. Combat Medics were usually formally assigned to HHC, but ate, humped, slept, with the combat arms personnel they supported. Combat Medics responsible for providing first aid and frontline trauma care on the battlefield. They are also responsible for providing continuing medical care in the absence of a readily available physician, including care for disease and battle injury.

As a ENG Line Medic, I completed:
Basic Abn
Air Assault
EFMB
JOTC
Sapper Leadership Course twice
NTC twice
EJWC
JRTC twice when it was at Chaffee
NWTC-ALIT/CWLC

I eventually got a CMB and became a "Combat Medic" during Desert Shield after we lost a passel of engineers on al salmam airfield.

Last edited by Lannister; 27 December 2009 at 16:32.
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Old 27 December 2009, 19:34
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Oh, in case you were wondering the high speed title I want is: Combat Fornicator.
Bad news for you, Sir.
http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=91313
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Old 27 December 2009, 19:34
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Quote:
"Combat Medic" in the Army is slang for the 91B/68W personnel assigned to Combat Arms units. The medical personnel in those duty positions are pretty good about the term. I.e. they don't use it, or like having it used, until they earn it.

IIRC, a Combat Medic recently earned the Silver Star for her actions in Afghanistan while assigned to 82d Airborne Division.
We can now start to narrow it down to medics who have attended, displayed compentecy, and passed a GOOD LTT lab.

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Last edited by MoonDog; 27 December 2009 at 19:35. Reason: RAT school of spelling
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Old 27 December 2009, 21:26
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Spoiler!
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Old 27 December 2009, 21:36
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http://www.combatmedic.org/invitation.htm

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Old 27 December 2009, 21:50
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The lines are so blurred now. Some medical folks have treated some helaceous combat injuries but in "safe" environments inside the wire. Others have treated some so-so wounds outside the wire in really bad hostile fire conditions. Others have had the extremes of both worlds--total boredom or total chaotic heroism. The people in the "safe" areas are just as dedicated as the folks outside the wire getting shot at. They are not any "lesser" than their "combat" counterparts. The "operator" types (and other "combat" medics) get extensive training and indoctrination that prepares them mentally, physically, and emotionally for that kind of situation, and thus they go forward and do this amazing job that most could never imagine. The medical folks expected to stay behind the wire (i.e. most docs, nurses, hospital medics, etc) get very little, if any of that preparation, yet they have to deal with the death and destruction every day--just not while they are enganging enemy forces. And often they are thrown into that "outside the wire" situation due to operational needs that they are totally unprepared for as far as tactical training goes. Imagine walking off the street from your respective school (nursing, etc) or hospital where you saw sniffles, asthma, and old people with chest pain on a daily basis, then get thrown into caring for young men and women who have been blown up. shot, etc. And YOU--the one with no special indoctrination or preparation for that, have to be "strong" and calm for the combat servicemember who is injured. That's our job as medical professionals so we have no right to cry at the harsh realities of that--it's just the way it is, but man oh man, we aren't really prepared for that. We just have to adapt. I have a lot of respect for both sides of that situation.

In the end, don't be a jackass. Don't make more of yourself than you are. And don't disparage others because you are "cooler" than them, or in contrast, (medical officers...) because you outrank them. Whatever it is that you are-- be a good one.
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Old 28 December 2009, 09:47
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They may be getting mixed up a little with the Combat Lifesavers Class.
It's usually a class of 1-2 weeks duration, that is given to certain people getting ready to deploy to a hot AO. At least in the Navy, that is the case. Not sure about the Army.
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