Talk:Combat medic

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Offensive Arms[edit]

To 69.201.27.21, you may know what you mean by "arms that qualify as offensive", but it needs an explanation. How can any arms not qualify as offensive? Any weapon can be used offensively. -- Necrothesp 12:38, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry Necro but I wrote that when I wasn't signed in on accident. I'll try to explain it.... First, a 9mm is defined as defensive, no one attacks an enemy position with a 9mm. Second, rifles can only be used defensively, that means that a medic can't shoot first. All other weapons are considered to be offensive. You can't say you were defending yourself with a sniper rifle. And technicaly a 50cal or Mrk19 can't be used on people, only on equipment. -- Blinks

Which is what I mean when I say it needs more explanation. You may know that, and I had an idea that's what you meant, but this is an encyclopaedia and is read by people who don't. And as an former British Territorial soldier, I have to say that I've never heard the distinction made between offensive and defensive weapons - and I doubt whether an SAS trooper, for instance, would define a 9mm as defensive only, since they're considered primary weapons in CT operations. Cheers. -- Necrothesp 14:24, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
I reworded this section, let me know what you think! Also, does anyone know what Isrealie combat medics would wear for insignia? (before the adoption of the red crystal) would it be the red star of David? one more thing, what does everyone think about possibly merging this with the Battlefield medicine article? Mike McGregor (Can) 13:24, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
The reworded paragraph makes much more sense. I'm not sure about Israeli insignia, so I can't help you with that. As for mergng with the Battlefield medicine article, I don't think they have enough in common to warrant a single merged article. While combat medics fall under battlefield medicine, the role is too significant to merge with a general article. --Scottie theNerd 15:09, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Israeli medics (& medical vehicals/equipment) used the red Star of David (Magen David Adom). See discussion here. Also note that the Red Crystal need only be used outside Israel - the red Star of David can still be used within Israel, so I believe the IDF will continue using it. altmany 22:45, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

"Generally, a medic holding his/her weapon is considered to be an armed, military threat." Perhaps someone could go a bit deeper into this issue. When a medic is forced to defend himself (or his care), does he lose his legal protection? Can someone cause a medic to lose his legal protection by provoking him to draw a weapon?


The Geneva Convention defines what is offensive and defensive, as well as what they can be used on and who they can be used by.


The Geneva Convention only says that a medic has specific protections as long as they don't go outside the parameters defined by the Conventions. The medic can freely choose to fire first, use a crew served weapon, and not have to worry about any violations besides the ones that apply to his fellow soldiers. The medic merely loses his Geneva status and is treated like his fellow soldiers when he makes this decision.

The 9mm pistol is generally given to medics not because it's a 'defensive weapon', but because it can easily be used with one hand if the medic must maintain pressure on a wound or perform some other medical procedure that cannot be interrupted without destabilizing the patient further. Rifles have probably been used more offensively than any other weapon since gunpowder was first used in war. Medics are given rifles so they have similar training and armaments to the line units they may be assigned to. The rumor of the 'ma deuce' and the MK-19 only being able to be used on equipment would ban their use in the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. Machine guns have always been understood to have been designed primarily as an anti-personnel weapon that can also take out light vehicles and aircraft. As long as the weapon is not designed to cause 'undue suffering', it can be fired on an enemy combatant. 72.198.72.14 (talk) 08:43, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

german vs nazi[edit]

Perhaps someone should change "Nazi" to "German". Not all Germans were Nazis, and this is supposed to be a neutral point-of-view encyclopedia. How much they get paid? please research and post as soon as possible.

In the context I think the use of "Nazi" is appropriate, given that British/American/Colonial forces are referred to as "Allied" regardless of nationality Graphia 04:14, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
"Nazi" is a misleading term, as a "Nazi unit" implies an actual Nazi armed force, such as the Waffen SS rather than the German army, the Wehrmacht. "German" is the conventional term to identify the major Axis proponent in WWII. As the German armed forces were separate organisations to the German government/Nazi party, I've changed the moniker. --Scottie theNerd 12:43, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

soviet-cold war passage[edit]

I think the statement regarding Soviet forces being ordered to target equpment with the red cross needs some sort of attribution or citation. otherwise it just seems like a unsubstanietated claim about the red menace.Mike McGregor (Can) 22:30, 21 February 2006 (UTC) the statement about the japanese targeting medics could probably also benifit from some backing up. Mike McGregor (Can) 22:37, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

(lol). The japanese statement is true. I looked it up in my big book on WWII (The World at Arms).

Medic armament[edit]

Which current armed forces equip medics with submachine guns? --Scottie theNerd 05:09, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

British medics were certainly carrying them in the Falklands War, since the SLR was too bulky, although now they carry SA-80s along with everyone else. -- Necrothesp 00:19, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


Removed web address for a clotting agent as it seemed to be more of an advert (69.3.223.166 (talk) 07:40, 25 March 2009 (UTC))

Medic Picture[edit]

This is a bad picture for the article because it does not have clear insignia. St.isaac 23:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Legal protection for armed medic[edit]

"Generally, a medic holding his/her weapon is considered to be an armed, military threat." Perhaps someone could go a bit deeper into this issue. When a medic is forced to defend himself (or his care), does he lose his legal protection? Can someone cause a medic to lose his legal protection by provoking him to draw a weapon? 22 August 2006

A medic is authorized to use a personal weapon to defend himself and his patients. Personal defense weapons in the US are basically the M9 and M-16 variants. Something like the M249 SAW, or crew served weapons are "offensive." That being said, a .50 cal weapon cannot legally be used against personnel, just equipment. Weapons and uniforms are equipment though... Seem vague? I think so too.


Most Whiskey's are not trained to fire any weapon with a higher caliber than a 7.62mm weapon. We are supposed to only return fire to protect ourselves and our patients. Any soldier that is capable of returning fire should do so and usually will. In the current war situation, the enemy has been known to target a medical vehicle knowing that we are lightly armed and have no 50 cal. on board. The new enemy has no regard for the Geneva Convention and usually does not honor it.--Texdoc41 (talk) 19:08, 17 November 2009 (UTC)


I'd disagree with the notion that medics are trained not to fire back. I spent my first 8 years as a 68W (and 91W for that matter) in an Infantry Brigade Combat Team. My training from Basic in 2004 to Bagram in 2012 was to ensure fire superiority and either slap on a tourniquet or at least make sure the wounded soldier was putting it on themselves. The reasoning behind this was that taking an additional rifle out of the fight increased the likelihood that the enemy would injure or kill another soldier which would degrade the situation even further. Additionally, you're not going to be doing any major medical treatment while under fire without exposing yourself. Helping to fight the enemy allows a medic to more quickly reach the point where either the enemy retreats or his element can get to an area where we can do more in depth treatment. 72.198.72.14 (talk) 07:51, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Doing away with combat-mission medics?[edit]

My neighbor, an Army seargent, claims that they're doing away with medics in the combat field. Soldiers are instructed to ask a wounded soldier "You OK?", and if the guy says "Yes", then the other soldier continues to shoot while instructing the wounded guy to put on first aid. COuld somebody help verify this so we can add it to this article? Thanks. --Bwefler 12:42, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

This right here is ludacris..... I don't who you spoke to but that is so wrong. I'm a medic in the army and we aren't going anywhere. ---Blinks

That's only partially true. The US Army is incorporating a strategy of TC3, or Tactical Combat Casualty Care. It's a three part system. Part 1) Shoot, gain tactical fire superiority. 2) Do only care that prevents death, ie tourniquet or breathing tube. Part 3) More involved care.

Basically, if the situation permits the medic will spend time on the patient to correct the issue, but if the patient can do something on his own, the medic can still fire down range in that effort to gain fire superiority. -SoldierMedic —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.144.134.2 (talk) 23:27, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

The TC3 protocol actually applies to Combat Lifesavers rather than Combat Medics (i.e. 68W) Combat Lifesavers are soldiers with a nonmedical primary MOS, they are less equipped and only go through three to four days of medical training. Their primary mission is to continue to engage the enemy and later perform medical duties. Combat Medics have a primary duty to assist wounded soldiers. Also phase 1 of TC3 is engaging the enemy and applying a tourniquet. Phase 2 involves all other medical procedures. Phase 3 is the MEDEVAC/ CASEVAC of wounded soldiers although the phases of TC3 do not have to be performed in numerical order based on mission allowances.I work for a defense contractor teaching CLS. 24.28.160.54 (talk) 08:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Jon

Hi my name is LaShelle. I'm 17 yrs old and a senior. I was doing a research project and came across this. I'm thinkin about becoming a combat medic and would like to know some more about it. If any of ou can let me know what experiences I would have or what exactly I'd be doing, that'd be great! Thanks~!~ October 02, 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.107.113.74 (talk) 18:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

What do you want to know? I love being a medic. My soldiers love me, mainly because I dispense medications and I am the one that takes care of them when they are hurt, so they take care of me. But it isn't all great. My aidbag is about 45 lbs, so that's 45lbs more you will have to carry than anybody else. But that is the only drawback. -SoldierMedic-

I can also help you with any information you may want about being a medic. I've been on three combat rotations and love my job. As SoldierMedic said they are one or two draw backs but mostly perks and it takes a certain personality to stay in this field.----Blinks

Medic and squad leader - compat with info in this article?[edit]

Christopher Speer is described as "leading a squad assigned the task of going through the ruins, looking for weapons, and evidence of terrorism", and also as "a medic in an American special forces unit". In my ignorance, this use of medic seems possibly at odds with the picture painted in Combat medic article. Comments? SmithBlue 10:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


Civilian Equivalents[edit]

Maybe we could have some comparisons of various medics to civilian occupations - EMT, Paramedic etc. - 121.208.89.95 (talk) 08:34, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

In the 68W article it lists the specific skill identifiers for American Combat Medics. I believe that all American combat medics are required to be NREMT-B certified. There are also identifiers for flight medic(F6) which might cross over to Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C) but I'm not sure. Combat medics can also be civilian licensed LPN's with an identifier of M6. I would stress however that care should be exercised when comparing them so that people do not get the idea that they are interchangeable. After I graduated from nursing school I wished to maintain my old MOS and therefore though I was civilian licensed nurse in my reserve unit I could not perform any medic duties. However due to increased pressure many more of the Army medical programs are requiring civilian certification so those things would carry over to the civilian world. 24.28.160.54 (talk) 21:55, 1 January 2009 (UTC) Jon


If you look at the job description of a 68W and a Tactical Paramedic, you will see they are basically the same job. I am advocating for the use of former 68W with current certification to be crossed over into such civilian placements.Texdoc41 (talk) 03:41, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

68 Whiskey[edit]

I believe that the Military Occupational Specialty for US Army medics changed from 91W to 68W in October 2006, not December 2005. The official title used in the US Army is Healthcare Specialist, though this is identical to calling a Navy Corpsman a 'Hospital Corpsman'. I'll change the month/year once I find verifiable sources and figure out how to do footnotes if there are no objections (I am a 68W so I may need help with POV). Shifty-Mo (talk) 20:08, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

The MOS tag did change as of 1 October 2006. All 91W were to given a time frame to complete the requirements for the new identifier. If they did not complete the training they were required to reclass into a new MOSTexdoc41 (talk) 19:08, 12 November 2009 (UTC)--Texdoc41 (talk) 19:08, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I added a {{confusing}} tag[edit]

I added a confusing tag. I believe the third paragraph here contradicts the first two. The third paragraph is about non-combatant medics. It begins:

In most armies, medics wear specific insignia, with a prominent Red Cross on a white background. Islamic countries use a red crescent instead while Israeli medics wear the Magen David Adom (a red star of David on a white background).

  1. We already cover non-combatant medics elsewhere.
  2. I don't know how many countries currently send non-combatants to the battlefield -- but the USA does not.

The simplest fix would be to simply remove the third paragraph.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 02:12, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I think it is crystal clear. See [1] Medics are afforded protections under the Geneva Convention if they are "acting" as a medic "at the time" tending to the "sick and wounded". If they engage in offensive military operations, they lose the protections of the Geneva Convention(s). It seems pretty clear to me. As for the United States military, they do send non-combatants to the battlefield, depending on the service and size of the force. Special Forces tend to use cross-training so that a member of any team is also trained as a medic should the need arise for his services. But he is first and foremost a member of the team who works in an offensive capacity.Yachtsman1 (talk) 03:33, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Are you quoting article 25, as you did in another thread? If so, are you sure you aren't misquoting it? Article 25 applies to "nurses, hospital orderlies and auxiliary stretcher bearers" -- not "medics". Geo Swan (talk) 13:26, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Dear Geo Swan - Thank you so much for your response. Medics qualify as "nurses" under Article 25, as I previously explained. I also note that articles 24 and 40 do not mention the term "medic" either. I can understand your confusion as to this point. I hope that cleared it up for you.Yachtsman1 (talk) 19:33, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I continue to believe my correspondent is mistaken. Navy Hospital Corpsman Joshua Chiarini won a Silver Star for [his actions on February 10, 2006:
Many of Chiarini’s missions took place in Al Anbar province, a hotbed of violence in early 2006. The morning of February 10 started out like so many others – with a patrol for Chiarini, a combat medic spending his third tour of duty with the 1st Platoon, 2nd Marine Division...
...One by one, Chiarini helped guide each person to safety. Chiarini led the interpreter, who had a mangled arm, to a secure Humvee. He guided the M-16 fire of a blinded Marine toward the insurgents. Chiarini then made three separate trips from the Humvee to the battlefield to treat and retrieve each of the wounded, all while braving a high volume of incoming rounds and laying down cover fire. For much of the time, Chiarini applied aid to the wounded with one arm, while providing suppressive fire with the other. After moving the team to safety, Chiarini stayed on the battlefield and unleashed M-16 fire at the enemy forces. He continued the fight as reinforcements arrived, eliminating several insurgents.
Chiarini clearly acted as a combatant. And he won a medal. rather than being admonished, because it is understood that combat medics are combatants first, medical personnel second. Geo Swan (talk) 23:12, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your response. Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 22 states that "[t]he following conditions shall not be considered as depriving a medical unit or establishment of the protection guaranteed by Article 19: (1) That the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed, and that they use the arms in their own defence, or in that of the wounded and sick in their charge..." [2]. Chariani's actions were in full accord with the dictates of Article 22, and his actions were taken in defense of himself, and the wounded and sick in his charge. Your good faith assertion that Chariani's courageous actions in saving the wounded Marines under his care merited some sort of disciplinary action on the part of the United States military is not well placed, and does not take into account the guiding force of international law as further cited supra. Again, thank you so much for your comments on the subject.Yachtsman1 (talk) 00:28, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
In order to alleviate any further confusion or unnecessary debate, I have cited to the relevant parts of the Geneva Conventions that apply to this subject. As the matter should no longer cause any confusion when these relevant portions of the Geneva Convention are reviewed, I now propose removal of the confused tag as the matter, and any confusion as to this matter, has now been fully clarified. Yachtsman1 (talk) 00:54, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Could you please observe the indentation conventions?
No offense, I don't find the interpretation you offered credible.
What we are agreed on is that Chariani sounds like a brave soldier. We are agreed that he deserves a medal.
You quoted this passage:

"...the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed, and that they use the arms in their own defence, or in that of the wounded and sick in their charge..."

Let me repeat the final sentences of the passage about the incident that earned Chariani's medal:
After moving the team to safety, Chiarini stayed on the battlefield and unleashed M-16 fire at the enemy forces. He continued the fight as reinforcements arrived, eliminating several insurgents.
Chariani continued to fight, "After moving the team to safety..." He wasn't acting to defend the wounded. He had passed them over to the care of others. He "stayed on the battlefield". He "continued to fight". Please reconsider whether you are going to continue to maintain this was the actions of a noncombatant.
Candidly, Geo Swan (talk) 20:52, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I would really appreciate it if you made a greater effort to refrain from misquoting me. I never wrote that Chariana deserved disciplinary action. I never wrote that, and I don't believe it. If combat medics, like Chariana are, as I contend, merely soldiers first, cross-trained to serve as medics, with no obligation to only fire in self-defense, then nothing in the account of the incident merits anything but a medal -- recognition of his courage. I never wrote anything else. Geo Swan (talk) 21:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your reply. Your exact quote was: "he won a medal. rather than being admonished." If you wrote that, what else did you mean? As for his actions, "defending the wounded" includes making certain they are not over-run. In other words, this was a defensive tactic, Geo Swan. You may want to recheck tactics before commenting further.Yachtsman1 (talk) 03:45, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I do think Geo Swan is wrong here, and I don't think the Chariani case is very enlightening. "If combat medics, like Chariana are, as I contend, merely soldiers first" is an individual, uncited opinion that really has no bearing here, (might even be construed as insulting. "Merely a soldier?" In this context, that sounds pretty close to "merely another target") However, if anyone wants to cite Geneva Convention rules, they should do so with cases where opposing national armies (are at least claiming to) respect the Conventions under which Medical personnel ordinarily do qualify as non-combatants. Chariani was fighting a non-state force unlawful combatants (unprivileged combatants). The Geneva convention does not apply in such conflicts. Try lookin up rules of combat for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)68W, recently known as 91W, the MOS was changed effective October 1, 2006. Formerly known by the MOS codes 91B (9 1 Bravo) and 91A (91 Alpha).(often pronounced as Six-Eight Whiskey using the phonetic alphabet)68W is the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for the United States Army's healthcare specialist, also known as the combat medic.Cuvtixo (talk) 23:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Cuvtixo, you don't have to answer this, but I think it would be useful for this discussion, if you told us whether you were a veteran. Are you? How about you Yachtsman1?
You wrote:
"However, if anyone wants to cite Geneva Convention rules, they should do so with cases where opposing national armies (are at least claiming to) respect the Conventions under which Medical personnel ordinarily do qualify as non-combatants."
Do you know the story of the CIA captive known as "triple-X"? He was captured in Iraq, and fell under enough suspicion that he was secretely shipped to one of the CIA's "black sites", for further interrogation. But Jack Goldschmit said secretly shipping him out of Iraq was a violation of the Geneva Conventions. So Tenet secretly shipped him back to Iraq. Tenet then asked Rumsfeld to "keep him off the books". So the GIs guarding him didn't know his name. The Red Cross never visited him, because he wasn't on the official list of prisoners. And, after going to all the trouble of hiding him, so the CIA could continue to interrogate him without any namby-pamby Red Cross observers, they promptly lost track of him.
My point in raising his story is that even at the height of its abrogation of its Geneva Convention obligations the Bush Administration acknowledged that the Geneva Conventions fully applied in Iraq. Cuvtixo you are completely incorrect to state or imply that American GIs are only obliged to follow the Geneva Conventions when they think they are fighting opponents who also comply with the Geneva Conventions.
If an American GI, or a British Tommy, or an Iraqi soldier in one of the new brigades the Americans trained, is going to continue to be eligible to be considered a lawful combatant himself or herself, then he or she has to full comply with the Geneva Conventions, even if they think their opponents are not complying. If they capture an opponent who they think breached the Geneva Conventions, by, let's say, fighting out of uniform, they are still obliged to treat that captive as a POW. The Geneva Conventions have a procedure for stripping captives who committed war crimes, like firing on non-combatant medics, of the protections of POW status. The USA has Army Regulation 190-8 specifically for this. During the 1991 Gulf War the USA convened over 1300 AR-190-8 Tribunals. The 1991 Tribunals confirmed that 400 of those captives were properly classified as POWs. They determined that the other 900 were innocent civilians, who should be released. They did not strip any captives of POW status because they were suspected of war crimes.
What should an Army General Staff do if they anticipate entering conflicts where opponents will not respect the proscription against firing on non-combatant medics, wearing a Red Cross? It is a trade-off, they should perform a cost-benefit analysis. One of the choices is continue to field non-combatant medics, who wear a Red Cross, and accept a high attrition rate among them. The other choice is to field soldiers who are cross-trained to serve as either a soldier or a front-line medic, as the situation requires. It is my understanding that the USA made the second choice.
If an Army is still fielding non-combatant medics (and non-combatant chaplains), what are they supposed to do when they believe the position they are attached to is about to be over-run by the enemy? I believe that a non-combatant is not supposed to pick up a gun, and contribute their fire to making sure the position is over-run. In theory, if the opponents also comply with the Geneva Conventions, when they burst in, they are supposed to be selective who they shoot at. If they don't surrender first my understanding is that they can shoot any able-bodied combatant. But the occupant wearing the Red Cross (or equivalent) markings, or the Chaplain's markings, is supposed to be off-limits -- as would be any combatant who was too wounded to provide resistance.
I saw a CNN interview back in 2003 or 2004, where a GI, or maybe it was the chaplain himself, described a routine roadblock position being surrounded by a larger opposing force. The CNN story describes the chaplain himself picking up an M16, and firing back at the opponents. Well, if that chaplain was wearing chaplain's markings he committed a war crime.
If the brass think the opponents they face won't respect the Geneva Conventions about not harming those already too wounded to resist, and not harming those wearing the markings that show they are non-combatants, they shouldn't allow those non-combatants anywhere near the front lines.
The argument that Chiarini could be a non-combatant medic, and also lay down covering fire, and prevent positions from being over-run, is nonsense. I do not believe Chiarini breached the Geneva Conventions rules on the behavior of non-combatant medics because I do not believe he was, at any time, a non-combatant.
That goofy movie, "Courage under fire", has plucky Meg Ryan command a medevac helicopter -- armed with a door gunner. She decides to taker her helicopter in to attack an Iraqi tank. Both violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Note: One's opponents may not be trusted not to fire on medical personnel wearing the markings that should show they are non-combatants, simply because they are an illiterate tribal militia, who are not well-educated enough to fully understand the complexity of the Geneva Conventions.
Why are non-combatant medics and chaplains allowed to carry a side-arm on the battlefield for self-protection? Are they authorized to use their weapon if they think their position is going to be over-run? Would that use be consistent with their obligations under the Geneva Conventions? I do not believe they would be. So, why the side-arm? Battlefields are dangerous places -- always have been. And the fire from enemy soldiers is just one of the dangers. Historically, some battlefields were infested with lawless looters, who would wait until the action moved a relatively safe distance away, and then move in to strip the dead and wounded left on the battlefield of their valuables. Since chaplains and medics might be left behind to minister to the dead, dying and wounded, when all the soldiers had moved down-range, they and the wounded under their care would be vulnerable to looters, and deserters. I believe this is the sole justification for non-combatants carrying side-arms. Oh, and the soldier or prisoner who "goes postal", snaps, goes beserk. If a crazed soldier on their side, or a crazed prisoner, threatened them, or someone in their care, I believe they would be justified in using their side-arm.
Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 17:49, 26 November 2008 (UTC)


Your questions: Why are non-combatant medics and chaplains allowed to carry a side-arm on the battlefield for self-protection? Are they authorized to use their weapon if they think their position is going to be over-run?
The Answer: So they can defend themselves and those they are protecting, which they are allowed to do under the terms of the Geneva Convention. They are not allowed to take part in offensive operations, but are certainly not required to look at the enemy with wide eyes while they get massacred. Thank you again for your comments. --Yachtsman1 (talk) 05:44, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


In theory, medics are considered to be given the Geneva coverage applied to medical personnel. In practice, any line medic is going to willingly disregard these protections because they will not be given to him by today's enemy and he is more effective returning fire even (or especially) if he has no patient to protect. Remember that the Geneva Conventions stipulate that the protections are theirs to lose based on their choices on the battlefield. Medics do not break any treaties by attacking the enemy, they merely void protections that most likely wouldn't be wouldn't be honored. We take part in offensive operations, we train with and fire crew served weapons if needed, and we'll do this whether a soldier is injured or not. 72.198.72.14 (talk) 08:14, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

stretcher bearer?[edit]

There are many references to "stretcher bearer" (or "stretcher-bearer", which I'm not convinced is correct usage!) within WP articles, but it is not obvious where to point a redirect. (Currently, two pages point to stretcher bearer, and two to stretcher-bearer. Many other potential links exist within article text.)

What were the functions of a stretcher bearer (beyond the obvious!)? Were they given any medical training? (etc). I think this is a hole in WP's coverage related to 'combat medic'.

EdJogg (talk) 11:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

That's an interesting point to raise. "Stretcher bearer" is a task not a title, I guess - traditionally carried out by both medics and other "non-fighting" troops such as bandsmen, cooks, pioneers, who would take stretchers loaded with ammunition and resupplies to the forward area and bring them back loaded with casualties. 81.132.66.172 (talk) 10:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Reason for lacking identifying insigna?[edit]

The text in the wiki article is under Modern Day where it states how because enemies faced today do not recognise the Geneva Convention, medics are indistinguishable from regular troops. I do not have sources on me, but have heard from various places that snipers were on the increase and medics and chaplains were being targeted in Afghanistan due to the effect on morale if one of them took a hit or died. If any of that is true, then the reason for medical personnel not being instantly identifiable is because they are more attractive targets, not that they become normal soldiers. The wiki article on Sniper states as much, and has two references for that, but unfortunately Wikipedia is in the unique position of being able to create as well as process, collate and distribute information. Wiki cites a reference, the main hits in Google become those references, every other article either cites Wiki or those references. Art imitating life imitating art. It warrants changing in my humble opinion but I currently lack time, is it better to remove the paragraph or leave it there till appropriate sources are found? 124.170.22.217 (talk) 12:40, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

combat medic[edit]

dear sir. just to rectify you on your statement re combat medic being also clasified as a medic. there is a big differance in a medic and a oprational medic.i am in the front line,busy with a contact. bullits all over,casualty in progress.you call a casavac in and 4 if need be steps to do for keeping the wounded alive. there is no tea party for that.its in and out,all arranged,the show must go on. now a medic is operating in a sickbay,hospital,clinic, its a nother life my friend,pampering the survived,no stress.nice life, how can you compaire the two factors.just for you to know, — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.223.119.129 (talk) 20:49, 20 September 2012 (UTC)


You compare it like this. In the Army there is no medic and operational medic, there's Healthcare Specialist. Your current duty station might have you on patrols, but your next PCS might have you in one of those clinics living the nice life. As you move up in rank, the chances of being in a clinic get higher because the knowledge you have accumulated goes far beyond what you learned in AIT. Years of lifting patients, litters, and your aid bag also speed along the process. It's still all covered in the same job however. 72.198.72.14 (talk) 08:26, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

History of Combat Medics in WWII[edit]

This book might be relevant for expanding the article, or adding history sections in WWII articles: Tracy Shilcutt , Infantry Combat Medics in Europe, 1944-45 , Palgrave Macmillan May 2013. DOI: 10.1057/9781137347695 Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 07:38, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

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