I'm not enlisted in the military and I'm a junior in high school but I have talked to a recruiter about becoming a Combat Medic. He told me I would be sent to Fort Sam Houston. I have a few questions about combat medics. If you could, please take the time to respond to them, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm also having issues today with putting my thoughts into words. I apologize.
1) What I want to do is to be on the battlefield attending to wounded soldiers. I talked to a local recruiter about this and he told me my job would be a "Health Care Specialist". That doesn't exactly sound like a Combat medic to me. Do you have any information you can give me about becoming a combat medic?
2) Do combat medics go by a secondary name?
3) Are there any classes I can take in high school or outside of school that will help me to become a better combat medic or to be better qualified for the job?
4) Would Army be the best branch to join?
5)My grandpa told me that I should join the navy and become a medic. Is there a difference between a navy medic and a army medic?
Highly Experienced Member
Ex-Moderator, Fired For Cause
A Health Care Specialist (68W) IS a combat medic - also a hospital corpsman, clinic corpsman and as the name implies, anything else that applies.
You can get a bit ahead of the game by taking a CPR or BLS course - either through your school or your local fire department/EMS station. Taking basic biology courses in HS is also a help, along with basic math.
Unless you are attached to the Marines, Navy medics do not go into the field much. With the Marines, they are there as often as Army medics are. These days, the Army medics are getting more of the action, if that's what you want.
Through the rest of high school, keep your nose clean, get in shape gradually and keep your grades up.
Another plus to going Army, albeit a small one, is the fact that you'll leave AIT with a CPR card and a certification as an EMT-B. The Navy may receive comparable training, but I'm pretty sure they don't get the cert. that says so.
Relaying what my husband had told me... he looked at all branches a couple years ago when he joined. His main motivator for choosing Army was that it offered the greatest opportunity for advancement and additional training. He had some college behind him, so enlisted as an E3 and was promoted early to an E4. He's reached 2 yrs now and is preparing to go to the promotion board next month for E5. He's climbing quickly, but he works REALLY hard for it. Aside from the shorter term promotion side of things, the Army also has lots of options for additional training and for college education. I will mention though, that he recently saw a Navy Base when we were visiting family in Southern California and he did stop and ask himself why he didn't join them! The Army has had us in places we would never have considered living on our own.
I think something you should consider though, being as you're young, is taking a semester or 2 after high school to take some college classes. The military is it's own world entirely and much different from the 'real' world. Being out on your own will not only help you gain a greater sense of self and of the reality of being an adult, but it will also give you an opportunity to earn some college credit - which is always good for any career route you choose. If you're set on the military route, talk to all the recruiters for all the branches - and don't rule out options like National Guard, Reserves, Coast Guard, etc... they may have something to offer you that may be a pleasant surprise.
Hey man your in a great position in life! I was at the same stage in my life. I choice to join at 17 and go to basic training through splits ops. Right now i am taking an EMT-B crash course at a community college and awaiting my AIT ship date. If i was going to do it all over again here is what i would do.. Graduate High School..take the SAT's and other tests required to go to college (as if you were going to be a full time student). Then take a human anatomy class and a CPR for Health Care providers course your first semester. After that take an EMT-Basic course and PASS the national registry test. If you like what you did and you are motivated to have the best job in the world. Enlist in the National Guard of your state in an infantry unit as a 68W (health care provider). This will keep your options open..you can ALWAYs go active duty from the reserves it is very hard to go the other way around. If you want to be high speed (over achiever type person) then buy the book called "Emergency Care 10th edition" and start glancing through it and reading it. Just remember the best thing you can do with your down time while your waiting for your next training is to study and work to get ahead...It is so helpful in the Army.
OMG, have ya'll been on any Air Force bases? They are by far the most impressive. However, the AMEDD does seem to offer more than the other military medical departments. If, you can handle the frequent deployments?
Not trying to incite a debate...
While I was deployed to Camp Bucca, Iraq I talked to many mobilized Army National Guard Soldiers. Most of them had been to Iraq 2-3 x's. They would enroll in college courses, then unable to complete d/t overseas orders.
IMHO, the young man interested in becoming a [68W] health care specialist, aka combat medic, might want to consider an enlistment into the Regular Army for active duty as a [68W]. An excellent point was made that after AIT you are certified as an EMT-B.
Keep in mind, not all 68W Soldiers are assigned to a line unit, aka infantry unit.
Your right they do get deployed often, but in the National Guard he can decide what unit he wants to be in ...Which means he could choose the infantry or he can choose some other unit type. They all want medics too so that is nice. Plus he can work around home doing things in country..instructor or on the Civil Support teams. A lot of times national guard guys can volunteer to go over-seas not sure how regular army manages that but the ones who are on there 3rd and 4th tours i think (don't know 100% sure ) love there jobs and thats why they are back.
First off, i'm glad to see you checking things out and asking questions ahead of time. Keep that up, it'll serve you well. The jobs on the battlefield of "attending wounded soldiers" are definitely here, and you'll probably have those opportunities when you're deployed. But some medics are in jobs that see more than others - and there isn't always a guarantee you'll be in one of those jobs. And I can tell you the best training and experience will be when you get tasked both with seeing patients on Sick Call sometimes (mostly colds, sprains, headaches, etc), and going "outside the wire" other times. It's the only way to keep all your skills up.
I agree with what's been said about getting some classes or a bit of college in before starting in the military. You'll have a leg up on book knowledge, practical knowledge, but also on life experiences. As a medic you'll be hit with all kinds of things - like talking with troubled Soldiers about things that you can't even dream about now. The bit of time on living on your own will be very helpful. And the possibility of coming in with a higher rank isn't too shabby either. And absolutely, keep your nose clean - don't get into any legal trouble.
I'm biased about Army , but i've worked with and seen Navy hospitalmen (?sp) here in Iraq as well as in Kuwait. I haven't done as much with Air Force medics, but they're around. I'm sure they can all give good and bad points form the Medic's viewpoint.
I've seen lots of variability in the Guard / Reserve medics. Some are in the same kinds of positions as the Active Duty medics, doing great, while others seem to be hanging with less supervision - which also means less teaching and training. Getting out of AIT is just the beginning of learning. We got some fresh Medics here a few months ago, and the difference in them between now and then is amazing. They just suck up knowledge.
Oh, one last thing. It won't just be wounded US soldiers you'll be taking care of here in Iraq (or Afganistan). Our medics have seen more wounded Iraqi Police, Army, "volunteers", and civilians, than US or other coalition forces. You'll even be expected to take care of wounded detainees and enemy combatants, both ethically and by law. That can be very tough for some medics and providers.
Good luck, and keep us informed.
Enjoying the sunny weather in Baghdad, Iraq.
Definitely some good feedback here for you. My two cents is.... See if your high school offers honors bio and/or A and P classes. If not, check out post secondary opportunities that your school may offer, eg my high school offered to pay for two college courses at the community college provided you already had enough credits to graduate. Couldn't hurt to ask anyway, right?
Side note: Adam, you don't happen to be with the 86th CSH in baghdad, do ya???
Hey man, I am in the same position you were in a couple years back. I am a junior in high school currently and was wondering what you ended up doing? I currently am interested in the medical field and hope to become a doctor one day, but I want to join the army and become a combat medic for a couple years first. I have already taken Human A&P and am working on getting in a lot better shape, because I know I will be running and have to be in excellent shape for this position. Any tips you have or what you did would be great.
Since 2001 when I tried to re-up with Uncle Sam I was told I was to old, to fat, and to ugly for active duty, but that was then and since now with my involvement with the VA, and those various branches of services listed in your Combat Army Medics seeing more action like those Marines and Navy Corpsman as at least I am a member with several of those associations as well ? Along with my plans to help my home state of California as a volunteer as well as Uncle Sam and the rest of US in this sinking ship like at least the same way Bob Denver had as Gilligan, on the TV series longest running re-run show next to Bonanza for the Skipper and those passengers of the mighty Minow, I could at least carry on the tradition of Ranger SF for the Big Ranger, Airman, and Sailor in the Sky " Our old Poppa," for Uncle Sam and maybe save US from at least loosing all of our future plans as a Federation with NASA who I now hear is no longer going to able to make or send Star Ships into space and where we will have to instead catch a stand by flight with our old Russian Counter parts if we even need to use their Zero degree Out House Latrine at their Space Station ? Talk about a " Dear John," letter to our NASA boys who have to still sit in those same space flight pajama suits and get their pants down to relieve the very basic of human needs with out even the paper to print the money to buy more TP paper from Wal-Marts White Cloud let alone in space where I hear no one ever hears you fart ? Well since the doctors at the VA as I all agree I am full of it mastering my own medical injuries and problems thank God no ever lights a match around me when I blow an Angel out of my Arse ? Well there goes my date with Major General Lauree Sutten, head doctor of neurology at Walter Reed Army Hospital as an atomic brain surgeon and double knot spy ? Like Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hills Billies for his Uncle Jed for my Uncle Sam, as I hear our government will be no longer in business as well in the future as even Captain Cork of the USS Star Ship Enterprise " scourge of the 215, and Terror of the 74," on my Schwinn bicycle Iron Pony I named "Silverware ?" I can't even be Riverside Counties best and number one Panhandler any more at least until I get a doctors release, and what doctor in their right mind would want to release me from a " Catch 22," is beyond me and Cyber Space the final frontier ? ALLONS and Double " Hoo Rah to Yah ! " Sad SAC........
P.S. What do you get when you cross a sad sack GI with a Marine Gunnery Sergeant ? A " Gunny Sac of Horse Manure ! " KILROY WAS HERE !
P.P.S. So ends the don't ask don't tell army we all loved so well now that the Queens have come out of the closet and the showers smeeling like Roses and Lavender Larry's ? As where I wasn't being discriminating ? I was just looking for material as one liner jokes for the troops in those fox holes with their pants down around their ankles while the enemy came over their fox holes with fixed bayonets like Bob Hope used to do for our boys in WWII etc., for the USO ?
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