TrendingHow To Become A Combat Medic In The Army

How To Become A Combat Medic In The Army


Combat Medics Of Wwii

What’s it like to be a Combat Medic – Army Reserve – Army Jobs

An Exhibit of the National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, VA

This rare surviving example of a medic’s M-1 helmet features the iconic red cross, a vivid symbol of hope for the wounded soldier hoping for medical attention. The symbol was also intended to dissuade enemy fire however not all enemy soldiers respected that protocol, especially in the Pacific Theater.

An all-important medic’s armband from the American military. These helped identify a medic to wounded men seeking treatment, and in theory protected them from enemy attack. In some cases, however, it made the medic a target.

This pocket sized first aid kit was standard issue for many WWII soldiers, often carried in a pouch on the belt. They contained little more than a dressing, though later versions added sulfa powder as a disinfectant.

Sulfanilamide was an innovative disinfectant widely used in WWII and credited with saving many lives. Infection in previous wars typically killed more men than did bullets improved knowledge of microbiology began to change this in WWII. These tablets were to be issued orally the drug was also sprinkled in powder form over a wound.

Army Special Forces Medic

Medics in the Special Forces Operational Detachment are first and foremost, special forces qualified. The 18D medics in the Army special forces are highly trained Special Operations Combat Medics who attend training for more than a year, learning a variety of skills.

These include dive medicine, altitude physiology, large animal veterinary care, dental extraction, orthopedics, and advanced trauma life support. They also receive training in local and cultural medical norms, for when they are deployed to areas with different views or traditions surrounding medical procedures.

Putting Combat Medic Skills To Work

With two pilot programs under their belt, Lansing Community College was ready to roll out the program on a wider scale. The third class of 26 medics started in August 2013 and will be graduating soon. The fourth class of 40 medics will begin this month. Students are coming from Connecticut, California, New Jersey and as far away as Guam.

Some graduates have gone on to jobs as paramedics, often with the agency that they intern with as part of the program, while others have gone to nursing school or physicians assistant programs.

After getting out of the military in 2012, Lizotte went back to Iraq working as an EMT for a civilian contractor. With his wife working on her Ph.D. at Michigan State and a 7-year-old daughter at home, hes eager to get a job as a paramedic, and then possibly continue on to nursing school.

Youre taking people who have seen the worst of the worst injuries and putting them on the streets of America and letting them help, any way they know how, which is with compassion and caring, Lizotte says. We definitely have received the tools and experiences that allow us to be fit for the opportunity to do that.

To attend classes at Lansing, VanWagoner makes a 75-minute drive from his home in Burton, Mich., four days a week. He hasnt decided yet if hell remain a paramedic, join the fire service or continue his education to become a nurse or physicians assistant. But he knows hes off to a good start.

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Complete High School Education

Typically, a U.S. Army medic needs a high school diploma to begin their career, although a GED may be sufficient in some cases. You can discuss your education options with a recruiter to learn more about the U.S. Army’s requirements. In high school consider taking science classes, such as biology and anatomy, to help you develop your healthcare knowledge. This could help you begin your U.S. Army medic career.

How Do I Become A Combat Medic

Department of Combat Medic Training prepares Soldier ...

Training to become a combat medic requires passing basic training and an advanced course that provides medical skills. No specialized degree is required before entering training, beyond a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. The military also has need for qualified doctors and nurses to provide advanced medical care for patients brought in for treatment by combat medics. After military service, an ex-combat medic may be able to work on first responder crews and in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar environments.

The first step for someone who wants to become a combat medic is physical fitness. Medical personnel, also known as corpsmen in some branches, need to be able to pass fitness standards to enlist, and must maintain their fitness. Recruiters can provide information about fitness standards as well as training programs, but activities like running, biking, and swimming can help people prepare. It is also necessary to be of good character, as recruits can be rejected on moral grounds.

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How To Become A Combat Medic

If you’re interested in becoming a combat medic, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 40.3% of combat medics have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.8% of combat medics have master’s degrees. Even though some combat medics have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a combat medic. When we researched the most common majors for a combat medic, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor’s degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on combat medic resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a combat medic. In fact, many combat medic jobs require experience in a role such as emergency medical technician. Meanwhile, many combat medics also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or cashier.

What Does An Army Medic Do

According to the U.S. Army’s website, combat medics are expected to:

  • Provide emergency medical assessment and treatment to casualties on the battlefield.
  • Provide assistance with inpatient and outpatient treatment and care.
  • Provide instruction to soldiers during a Combat Lifesaver/First Responder training course.
  • Manage medical supplies and equipment.


Each military occupational specialty is identified by a code. The MOC for combat medics, 68W, is often spoken as “68 Whiskey.”

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Streamlining Combat Medic To Civilian Medic Process Is Good

Yet when he returned to civilian life, VanWagoner found his military medic credentials werent much help in finding a job. He applied for positions as an EMT, an ER tech and a nurses aide, but he couldnt get hired.

So he took a job at a local mall.

It was quite frustrating, says VanWagoner, a 19-year-old from Fostoria, Mich., when he enlisted. I took care of people who were sick and injured very, very injured. I knew I was competent at splinting and taking vital signs and providing basic care, but there were licenses and certificates needed that I didnt have.

VanWagoner is far from alone. In fact, the difficulties that former military medics and veterans often have in finding jobs that enable them to put their medical training and experience to use is of growing concern to the federal government and many in EMS.

For would-be EMTs and paramedics, the issues are two-fold: Colleges arent sure how to interpret training and experience from military transcripts, so former servicemen and women have to repeat coursework in topics such as trauma that they already know a lot about, costing them time and money.

The other major issue is licensing: State EMS offices have certain requirements that returning service members have difficulty fulfilling. That can include paying fees or undergoing background checks but it can also include more onerous requirements.

How Military Medics Can Transition To Civilian Ems

Combat Medic Trains to Become Infantry Leader

Licensing requirements and varying degrees of experience can make it difficult for returning servicemen to find jobs, but programs are emerging that can help

This article, originally published Mar. 24, 2014, has been updated with current information.

As a Navy corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps battalion from 2004 to 2008, Brandon VanWagoner did two tours of duty in Iraq.

On missions in and around Fallujah, he treated gunshot wounds, blast injuries from improvised explosive devices and other traumas. And as part of a U.S. military medical team that provided humanitarian care to Iraqi civilians, he treated everything from broken bones to burns, in addition to helping care for Marines everyday illnesses.

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Advanced Individual Training / Army Combat Medic Training

Health Care Specialists spend 16 weeks in AIT learning their individual job. These 16 weeks are spent in three different phases. These phases are commonly called EMT, Whiskey, and Camp Bullis/Field Training. During all phases you will wake up early, do physical training, and then attend professional training for about 8 hours a day. The exception to this is the occasional 24-hour shifts for fireguard or during field training exercises.

Training Required To Become An Army Medic

Becoming a combat medic requires the completion of 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, as well as Advanced Individual Training, which takes 16 weeks to complete.

Ongoing Education

Combat medics can expect to receive ongoing training throughout their enlistment. In recent years, there has been a move toward training medics to provide care for an extended length of time. This represents a sea-change in job role for medics: Previously a medic was expected to assess, stabilize and evacuate the injured within “the golden hour” of opportunity to protect the life and well-being of a fellow service member. However, changes in modern warfare has put medics in positions where they might be expected to provide extended levels of care. As a result, the military has introduced the Expeditionary Combat Medic certification course that provides medics with training to provide care for extended periods of time on the battlefield.

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What Is A Combat Medic

A combat medic is a soldier who primarily treats wounds and injuries of soldiers in their unit or station. Depending on the combat medic’s specialization, they may stabilize wounded soldiers or provide long-term care in a facility alongside other medics. A combat medic who is deployed with their unit may also carry equipment, such as body armor or ammunition.

A combat medic can pursue further education to specialize in different areas, such as dentistry. They also instruct other soldiers in emergency training courses. The scope of a combat medic’s responsibilities depends on where they work. For example, a combat medic in an aid station may see a wider range of injuries and learn more about long-term care.

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Combat Medic: What It Is And How To Become One


Many people want to find a career where they can make a positive impact on the world around them. Combat medics do just that by serving their country and saving lives. By becoming a combat medic, you will learn about medicine and life-saving procedures, while also gaining skills that can help you find lifelong work in medicine. In this article, we discuss what a combat medic does and how you can become one.

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S To Joining The Army

  • Meet with your local Army recruiter. They will pre-screen you for the ASVAB, medical, and basic qualifications.
  • Go to MEPS . This is where you will jump through all kinds of hoops and get poked and prodded.
  • Take the ASVAB. This determines if you have the basic knowledge to enlist. Also, there are subcategories that determine which jobs you are suited for. Two of those subcategories are the GT line score and the ST line score that determine if you are qualified to become a medic.
  • Once you have qualified, chosen your job, and spent an entire day waiting around, you will sign your DEP contract and swear in. Until your ship-off date, you will spend time with your recruiters learning about basic army stuff and getting into shape.
  • Finally, when the ship date arrives, you will go back to MEPS, officially swear in, sign your official contract, and leave for basic training.
  • Special Operations Combat Medic

    Army combat medics who complete Airborne Ranger training and join Ranger battalions will complete the Special Operations Combat Medics course. This course of study takes 36 weeks to complete and provides greater in-depth training in the types of care that participants in Special Operations missions may require. Certifications earned during this program include basic life support, pediatric education for pre-hospital providers and advanced cardiac life support.

    A special operations combat medic who becomes a Special Operations Medical Sergeant will undergo additional training, which includes dental medicine, including performing extractions, large-animal veterinary care, as well as training in cultural medical practices and healing, including herbal medicine. Special Operations Medical Sergeants also learn to provide care under extreme conditions, including training in dive medicine and the effects of high altitude on the human body.

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    Red Cross Red Crescent And Red Star Of David

    Medical personnel from most western nations carry weapons for protection of themselves and their patients but remain designated non-combatants, wearing the red cross, crescent or crystal. In the United States Armed Forces, MEDEVAC Vehicles will display a large Red Cross on a white background however, ground forces do not display this due to increased targeting of medical personnel by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Traditionally, most United States medical personnel also wore a distinguishing red cross, to denote their protection as non-combatants under the Geneva Convention. This practice continued into World War II. However, the enemies faced by professional armies in more recent conflicts are often insurgents who either do not recognize the Geneva Convention or choose not to adhere to it, and thus readily engage all personnel, irrespective of non-combatant status. As their non-combatant status is not respected, many US medics no longer wear non-combatant markings. This can enable medics to be used as medically trained soldiers, fighting aggressively rather than just in self-defence.Combat Medics in the United States Army and United States Navy Hospital Corpsmen are virtually indistinguishable from regular combat troops, except for the extra medical equipment they carry.

    Undergo Testing For Entry Into The Army

    68W Army Combat Medic Training

    Once you have completed the necessary paperwork and interview with the recruiter, you will need to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery . The ASVAB is a series of questions designed to test your understanding of various subjects, such as math, science, electronics and reading. The military uses this test to determine which position you are most suited for.

    In order to become a combat medic, you will need a score of 101 on the Skilled Technical portion of the ASVAB and 107 on the General Technical portion. Consider devoting some time to studying before signing up for the ASVAB so you’re prepared on exam day.

    You will also need to pass a physical examination and show that you are physically fit enough to serve in the military. This examination takes place at a Military Entrance Processing Station where you will need to go through routine tests, such as hearing, eye and blood tests, and provide your medical history. You will also be given a full physical examination. You may also take the ASVAB here if you have not already taken it.

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    Apply To Join The Us Army

    To become a U.S. Army medic, professionals must first enroll in the U.S. Army. To qualify, individuals must be between 17 and 34 years old. If an individual is under 18, they need consent from a legal guardian. To apply for the U.S. Army, you can speak with a local recruiter who can provide specific advice and requirement details. You will need to show the recruiter your identification documents, such as a driver’s license and social security card. You may also need to prove education with a copy of your diploma.

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    Complete Us Army And Medic Training

    After passing the necessary tests, you can begin your medical and U.S. Army training. First, U.S. Army medics must complete basic combat training . This training takes 10 weeks to complete and focuses on physical and mental training.

    After the BCT, the U.S. Army may choose you to become a medic. This decision depends upon the U.S. Army’s needs, your ASVB score and your educational background. If the U.S. Army chooses you to become a medic, you can begin individual training . Medics complete AIT in the medical field where they learn how to provide medical treatment and care. This program takes at least 16 weeks to complete.

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    Training Oversights Could Leave Military Medics Unprepared For Combat Report Finds

    The U.S. armed forces have more than 73,000 enlisted medical personnel who need to be ready to provide care in combat theaters at any time.

    But neither the military services nor the Department of Defense have adequate systems in place to track these troops’ preparedness, raising concerns that not all will be able to perform in operational settings, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

    Until the DoD and the services define the skills needed for roughly 80 enlisted medical fields, including setting goals and keeping sufficient records of training and completion of programs, gaps could affect the care of U.S. troops in deployed settings, government auditors said.

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    “As a result, the military departments lack reasonable assurance that all enlisted medical personnel are ready to perform during deployment operations,” according to a report released June 17 by the GAO.

    Two-thirds of the active-duty medical force is made up of enlisted personnel — 73,453 service members in 77 occupational specialties that include combat medics, operating room techs, radiology specialists, lab techs, physical and behavioral health specialists, and more.

    They are assigned to operational units and fill roles in the DoD’s 721 hospitals, clinics and dental facilities their primary purpose is to support military readiness.

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