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Thread: What's the difference between Army medics and Navy corpsman?

  1. #1

    CPOMess What's the difference between Army medics and Navy corpsman?

    I'm a 68w (Army healthcare specialist) waiting to ship and I've been hearing how Navy corpsman are way better trained and how the ones who end up going outside the wire with the Marines are the cream of the crop. Now I'm not thinking of switching services or anything (hate ships) but I was interested in hearing about the amount and quality of training that the average combat corpsman receives. I guess part of why I'm asking is that the last time I was in my recruiter's office, there were 2 other 68w there, and they were both girls fresh out of high school and I really couldn't picture either of them with an M4 in hand, doing patrols in Afghanistan. And the way things are looking now, any 68 Whiskey's going to boot camp the first half of this year is likely gonna see the front lines in Afghanistan pretty soon.

    Anyways I hope this doesn't turn into a pissing contest, I'm just curious what corpsman go through.

  2. #2
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    Im sure alot people will throw in their two cents, for now here is mine. Corpsman "A" school in a nutshell is a mixture of Clinical nursing and civilian EMT skills. After that we are generally sent to Feild Medical Training Battalion either in Cali or North Carolina. At this school we learn basic Marine infantry skills, some Marine Corps martial arts, as well as some fairly advanced, (cricthyroidotomy, needle thoracentesis), battle field medicine. After they are sent to a unit the might go to a TCCC, (Tactical Casualty Care Course) or OEMS, ( Operational Emergency Medical Skills). Both great courses, in OEMS they use "domesticated swine models", to practice trauma skills on. All branches, even services from other countries send their Doctors, nurses, medics to this course. Corpsman can also become SEALS or Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Coprsman (Marine Recon), go to the Army's 18d "short course". I do have to add that Corpsman are the most decorated rate in the Navy, and throughout history more so than the 68W. Both are invaluable, and in some ways are alike! I hope this helps brother.
    Last edited by Triple Doc Dare; 01-10-2010 at 12:18.

  3. #3
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    As a former Army "Doc" I can say there is not much deference- As far as going out of the wire- Depends on who your assigned to.

    If your a Division Corpsman your basically in the same boat (sorry for the nautical term) as an Infantry Medic in the Army. There is talk (and maybe someone above my pay scale can confirm this) That most of the medical courses will be combined into a single school house out in Fort Sam (BTW I loved that place when I was in the Army!!!)

    I do have to say I love being a corpsman more- I just experienced so much more in my career and learned. Irregardless of where you serve just remember to take care of your fellow human, and be proactive with your career (seek and take those classes!!!)
    HMC(FMF) Acevedo

  4. #4
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    New member with experience on the Naval side as a (Reserve) infantry Marine and then as an active duty Army medic

    Not long ago, Soldiers relied on their outstanding evac system, and de-emphasized training highly qualified independent medics outside of special units - while Corpsmen got consistently better and more in-depth training. Airmen were required to maintain NREMT certification, while Soldiers were not. That has since changed - we are moving rapidly to one standard for enlisted medical personnel - and in fact we're going to integrate our schools at Ft. Sam Houston (I'm based out of San Antonio, and may look at trying to teach at the schoolhouse there).

    More and more as we work in joint environments, our training will be geared toward making us interchangeable, just as our doctors and nurses already are.

  5. #5
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    Oh, and as a follow up -

    The Army now teaches needle thoracentesis down to the individual Soldeir level as part of its Combat Lifesaver course (until just revently it also taught IV insertion to CLS, but that has been de-emphasized). Medic Skills, depending on rank and assignment, also include suturing, urinary catheterization, laryngeal intubation, use of double lumen airways including the EOA or Combitube and King LTD,Intraosseous infusion, needlle cricothyrotomy, surgical cric, tube thoracentesis, needle pericardiocenteses, venous cutdown, etc. But then, most of my time has been with infantry units, so we've had to be pretty self-sufficient with just a PA as out Battalion Surgeon.

  6. #6
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    Army Medic vs Navy Corpsman

    Thread mentions both Medic vs Corpsman and Ft Sam plans.
    http://www.corpsman.com/forum/showth...914&#post59914


    First off, saying 68W is like simply saying HM. There is a lot of info left out of the picture. Just as an HM-0000 is very different than a HM-8403, the same is true for the Army in that a 68W10 is very different than a 68WW1. So lets focus things upon initial training only.

    More than 50% of the Army MOS codes have changed over the past decade. The MOS 68W has only been around since the start of FY2007. Prior to that it was 91W for half a dozen years or so (about 2000-2006). Before that, what we typically think of as an Army Medic were mostly MOS 91B which had been around since the mid-1960's. No disrespect intended but some would rank a typical pre-2000 medic as more comparable to say a Combat Lifesaver of today (with a little bit of extra medical knowledge). Based on both discussions and interactions with them back in the 1990's you could say 91B were infantrymen first, and bandage carriers second. But it is not like that any more and some Medics were a hell of a lot better than others.

    As for enlistment standards, I believe the Navy still requires higher qualifications and has stricter standards for Corpsman candidates than the Army requires of 68W candidates. The Army has historically also been more likely to grant waivers for certain things the Navy will not waive. I know of several recent cases where the Navy denied a person a chance to become a Corpsman so they joined the Army to become a Medic instead.

    Since 2000, but more again since late 2006, the standards and initial training for Army medics have been raised significantly. They are light years above where they once were. I have not reviewed the schoolhouse curriculum recently but I believe a typical freshly graduated 68W is likely on par with a typical freshly graduated HM-0000.

  7. #7
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    Ft Sam Houston

    The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee formulated a plan to save taxpayers money by consolidating and streamlining all initial enlisted military medical training into a single Medical and Education Training Campus (METC) at Fort Sam Houston, TX.

    My understanding of things as of today:

    We (Army, Navy, Air Force) will share the same building.
    We will share the much of the same equipment within that building.
    We will share the many of the same training aids within that building.
    We will share the same chow hall, barracks building, PT fields, and other support facilities.
    We will share some of the specialized instructors (civilians??) within that building for specific classes.
    We may even share the same minimum standard of training and scope of practice.

    We (Army, Navy, Air Force) will NOT combine classes.
    The Army class will only have soldiers. The students will be soldiers and the immediate class staff will be soldiers, just like now.
    The Navy class will only have sailors. The students will be sailors and the immediate class staff will be sailors, just like now.
    The Air Force class will only have airmen. The students will be airmen and the immediate class staff will be airmen, just like now.

    Separate classes, different curriculum, same building.

    Although our minimum standard of training and minimum scope of practice may be the same DoD-wide, each service will likely customize and tailor fit what they each want for their particular medical personnel. Each individual service may elect to exceed portions of the minimum standard or expand their scope of practice beyond established DoD-wide minimums.
    Last edited by HMC-FMF-PJ; 01-16-2010 at 07:50.

  8. #8
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    NHCS to METC in FY2011

    Quote Originally Posted by HMC-FMF-PJ View Post
    We (Army, Navy, Air Force) will NOT combine classes.

    Separate classes, different curriculum, same building.

    Plans change. It has been confirmed....

    Same classes, same curriculum, same instructors, same building. (Service specific barracks??)


    METC thread
    http://www.corpsman.com/forum/showth...579#post111579
    Last edited by HMC-FMF-PJ; 06-03-2010 at 15:24.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMC-FMF-PJ View Post
    Plans change. It has been confirmed....

    Same classes, same curriculum, same instructors, same building. (Service specific barracks??)


    METC thread
    http://www.corpsman.com/forum/showth...579#post111579
    Does that mean HM's will also get EMT-B certifications like their Army 68W counterparts?

  10. #10
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    I am not sure what type of classes or certifications the Army has, however, in the Navy you can be a Corpsman, and then have a specialty field or have other certifications. There is Corps School for the Corpsman nec, then there is Field Med School, there are also schools like Cardiovascular Tech school, and Independent Duty Corpsman, and oh so many others. I was also an Advanced CPR instructor and PALS Instructor, which are certifications. Do Army medics also have specialty schools like ours? And additional certifications?

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