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The FReeper Foxhole Profiles Combat Medics - Feb. 6th, 2004
see educational sources

Posted on 02/06/2004 4:06:48 AM PST by snippy_about_it


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

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Army Combat Medics

Brief history of the Medical Corps

The Medical Service Corps traces its beginnings to the establishment of an Apothecary General during the American Revolution, and the creation of the Ambulance Corps and US Army Storekeepers in the Civil War. It was during the Civil War that Surgeon Jonathan Letterman, Director of the Army of the Potomac, realized a need for an integrated medical treatment and evacuation system with its own dedicated vehicles, organizations, facilities, and personnel. The Letterman plan was first implemented in September 1862 at the battle of Antietam, Maryland, and has continued as the basis of Army medical doctrine ever since.

The next major development of the Medical Service Corps occurred in World War I. The Army’s requirement for medical and scientific specialty officers to support combat operations resulted in the creation of two temporary components: the US Army Ambulance Service established on 23 June 1917 as a descendent of the Ambulance Corps, and the Sanitary Corps, established on 30 June. Today the Medical Service Corps mirrors the Sanitary Corps, which quickly expanded to nearly 3,000 officers during World War I. The Sanitary Corps enabled the Medical Department to make available to itself a group of officers commissioned in specialties which were at the forefront of the medical technology of the day. Officer’s of the Sanitary Corps served in medical logistics, hospital administration, patient administration, resource management, x-ray, laboratory engineering, physical reconstruction, gas defense, and venereal disease control. They were dedicated members of the medical team that enabled American generals to concentrate on enemy threats and not epidemic threats.

Between World War I and World War II. it became apparent that the Army needed a permanent source of medical administrative specialty officers. This led to the establishment of the Medical Administrative Corps in June 1920. The Medical Administrative Corps expanded to include a variety of administrative positions and freed the physicians, dentists, and veterinarians for medical care responsibilities. Following World War II, Congress established a permanent component in the Army for medical administrative and scientific specialty officers. On 4 August 1947, Congress created the Medical Service Corps. For the first time, the Medical Department had a permanent home for both its administrative and scientific specialty officers. Since 1947, U.S. military actions have demonstrated the efficiency of that decision.

The Medical Service Corp have been important members of the U.S. military medical support team for combat operations in Korea, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and Iraq. The story of the Army’s operations in Vietnam would not be complete without mention of the magnificent record of the evacuation helicopter pilots, who carried on in the tradition begun in the Civil War.

World War II and the Combat Medic

It wasn’t any different to be killed in World War II then it was during the Civil War or World War I. However, if the World War II GI was wounded by a bullet, shrapnel or fallen by a disease such as malaria, without killing him, his chances for survival were much greater then his ancestor in the Civil War. During the Civil War, 50 percent or more of the men admitted to hospitals died, during World War I, it was 8 percent, World War II, 4 percent.

During World War II drugs such as sulfa (Sulfanilamide) and penicillin were discovered and advanced surgical techniques were introduced to make these improvements possible, but the first reason for such successes in improving the mortality rate was the speed with which wounded men were treated. It began with the frontline combat medics. In the beginning of the war at training camps, medics had been mildly despised because many of them were conscientious objectors and often ridiculed. Sometimes called "Pill Pushers" or worse. But in combat they were loved, respected and admired. Medic Buddy Gianelloni recalls, ‘Overseas it becomes different. They called you medic and before you know it, it was Doc. I was 19 at the time."

The main objective of the medic was to get the wounded away from the front lines. Many times this involved the medic climbing out from the protection of his foxhole during shelling or into no-man’s-land to help a fallen comrade. Once with the wounded soldier, the medic would do a brief examination, evaluate the wound, apply a tourniquet if necessary, sometimes inject a vial of morphine, clean up the wound as best as possible and sprinkle sulfa powder on the wound followed by a bandage. Then he would drag or carry the patient out of harms way and to the rear. This was many times done under enemy fire or artillery shelling. In most cases, the Germans respected the Red Cross armband.

Evacuation of Wounded During World War II

The evacuation process of the wounded during World War II is best described by Pfc. Keith Winston, a combat medic during WW2 for the 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division. He explains the evacuation process in a letter to his wife during the war;

"You asked me to describe the exact function of the Aid Station. First let me tell you how evacuation works: A boy gets hurt on the line. Within a minute or less a telephone message is sent back to our forward Aid Station, a distance of 300 to l000 yards from the front where a Sgt. and 4 litter-bearers are always on hand. They rush right up to thc line with a litter. During this time, thc Company in which the casualty is a member, has their Aid-man administering first-aid on the spot—usually consisting of stopping the bleeding with Sulfanilamide powder, bandaging and giving wound pills internally.

By that time, another litter team is there and carries the casualty to thc nearest point where a jeep can travel--anywhere from 25 to 3000 yards, depending on conditions. The injured boy is then rushed to the Aid Station, one to three miles behind the line. Here the physician removes the first-aid bandage, makes a proper diagnosis and applies a more permanent bandage, administers blood plasma if needed, and in severe cases, gives morphine; makes the patient comfortable, warm, gives coffee, etc. Whereupon he's rushed back to a point known as Clearing Company, pretty far in thc rear--this time by a comfortable ambulance which stands ready for action at thc Aid Station's door.

Now--here, if the wound requires it, he's given emergency operation or attention. This place is well-staffed and well-equipped. Then the casualty is taken by ambulance to an Evacuation hospital further back where first-class attention is administered. If thc case is one whereby the wound or casualty is so severe and he won't get better very soon, he's shipped back even further to a General Hospital, and eventually back to the States. Reason for the continual moves? One of room. As the patient warrants a further move back, he leaves space for another boy, and needed room is of the essence. The Aid Station has no beds. Its job is the most important--to evacuate the wounded boy from place of incident to the rear, after essential treatment is administered to save his life. The well-equipped rear station the soldier and bandage him with the skill that is possible only in a quiet hospital".

The combat medic was one of the unsung heroes of World War II. He lived with the front line infantrymen and was the first to answer a call for help. He gave first aid to his wounded comrades and helped them out of the line of enemy fire. More often than not, he faced the enemy unarmed and was the foundation of the medical system with hundreds of thousands of surgeons, nurses, scientists, and enlisted medics.

As stated by Stephen Ambrose, "It was the universal opinion of the frontline infantry that the medics were the bravest of all".

FReeper Foxhole Armed Services Links

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Medics, A Brief History

During Ancient times if a soldier was wounded, he laid in the field where he had fallen. There was no one to come to his aid. Napoleon's Army was the first to assign people to help the wounded. They were called the litter-bearers, made up mostly of inept and expendable soldiers. The American Colonel Army lead by George Washington, also had litter-bearers during the Revolutionary War.

In 1862, due to the unexpected size of casualty lists during the battle of Manassas where it took one week to remove the wounded from the battlefield, Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Head of Medical Services of the Army of the Potomac, revamped the Army Medical Corps. His contribution included staffing and training men to operate horse teams and wagons to pick up wounded soldiers from the field and to bring them back to field dressing stations for initial treatment. This was our Nation's first Ambulance Cops. Dr. Letterman also developed the 3 tiered evacuation system which is still used today.

Field Dressing (Aid) Station - located next to the battlefield. Dressings and tourniquets

Field Hospital - Close to the battlefield (during the Civil War it would be Barns or Houses, today they are known as MASH units). Emergency surgery and treatment.

Large Hospital - Away from the battlefield. For patients' prolonged treatment.

Dr. Letterman's transportation system proved successful. In the battle of Antietam, which was a 12 hour engagement and the bloodiest one day battle in the entire Civil War, the ambulance system was was able to remove all the wounded from the field in 24 hours. Dr. Jonathan Letterman is known today as the Father of Modern Battlefield Medicine. Unfortunately, amputation was the primary method of treatment for wounds to extremities during the Civil War with over 50,000 resulting amputees.

During the Spanish American War in the 1890's Nicholas Sin stated: Fate of the wounded soldier is determined by the hand which applies the dressing. Field dressings are now applied by litter-bearers in the field.

World War I required millions of casualties to be treated at the front. Unlike previous wars, battles did not stop to retrieve the wounded or the dead. World War I saw, for the first time, medics rushing forward with the troops, finding the wounded, stopping their bleeding and bringing the wounded soldier to the aid station. In World War I medics were no longer expendable and were well trained.

After World War I, Military Medicine advanced. Training became a priority both in fighting and medical care. Medics were trained along side infantry soldiers, learning how to use the lay of the land for their protection and that of their patients. Medics were also trained in the use of pressure dressings, plasma IV's, tracheotomy, splints, and administering drugs.

During World War II a wounded soldier had an 85% chance of surviving if he was treated by a medic within the first hour. This figure was three times higher than World War I survival statistics. The red cross worn by medics on their helmet and arm bands became visible targets for enemy snipers during World War II and Korea.

Korea saw the advent of the helicopter being used to bring men from the front lines to M*A*S*H units (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital).

In Vietnam, the medic's job was to treat and evacuate. Medevac helicopters now could bring medics on board to continue treating the wounded while transporting them back to the Field Hospitals.

There was a 98% survival rate for soldiers who were evacuated within the first hour. Vietnam was the first time medics were armed and carried firearms and grenades into combat. Red crosses on helmets and arm bands were no longer worn.

I haven't forgotten Navy Corpsmen. They will be covered on an upcoming thread of their own. ;-)

Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:
1 posted on 02/06/2004 4:06:48 AM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: All

We yelled for them and they appeared, like smoke above a fire.
They came to us through battles roar, with only one desire.
They came to treat our wounds or give us comfort our last hour
They came to us and risk their lives, through deadly hails of fire.

The Medics came to patched us up and tell us “You’re OK.”
Whatever made them think that they could save us anyway?
But save they did! And lost their own, in Honor and in Valor.
How many men would we have lost if they had stopped to cower?

A “CMB” is just a badge to many who don’t know.
To those who humped the jungle trails, it is a Medal of its own.
These men who wear the “CMB” are heroes to us all.
Heroes to the men who had to give the “MEDIC!” call.

©John S. Garrison -2002
2 posted on 02/06/2004 4:08:43 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: All

Synopsis of Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards - CMB) The Combat Medical Badge was conceived March 1, 1945 by the War Department. The Combat Medical Badge (CMB) could specifically be awarded to Officers and Enlisted personnel of the Medical Department who were assigned to or attached to a medical detachment of the infantry. The CMB was to recognize medical aidmen who shared the same hazards and hardships of ground combat on a daily basis with the infantry soldier.

The CMB was never intended to be awarded to all medical personnel. Due to the uniqueness of ground combat in the infantry it was intended to be awarded only to those Medics who served under direct fire with the infantry. To be awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the infantry unit to which the medical personnel were assigned or attached must have engaged the enemy in active ground combat. Medical personnel must have been personally present and under fire in order to be eligible for this award.

During the Vietnam War, the requirements were so stringent that recommending officials were required to document the place (in six digit co-ordinates), the time, the type of engagement, and also the intensity of fire to which the medical personnel were exposed. The Combat Medical Badge could also be awarded to U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force medical personnel as long as they met all the requirements of Army medical personnel.
3 posted on 02/06/2004 4:10:10 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: All

The Combat Medic Prayer

Oh, Lord I ask for the divine strength to meet the demands of my profession. Help me to be the finest medic, both technically and tactically.

If I am called to the battlefield, give me the courage to conserve our fighting forces by providing medical care to all who are in need.

If I am called to a mission of peace, give me the strength to lead by caring for those who need my assistance.

Finally, Lord, help me to take care of my own spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Teach me to trust in your presence and never-failing love.AMEN
4 posted on 02/06/2004 4:14:17 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; bulldogs; baltodog; Aeronaut; carton253; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

Good Friday Morning Everyone

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.

5 posted on 02/06/2004 4:17:04 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Hobbs has more to say on the awol story. Bill Hobbs

6 posted on 02/06/2004 4:18:22 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy.

SAAB Viggen

7 posted on 02/06/2004 4:20:54 AM PST by Aeronaut (In my humble opinion, the new expression for backing down from a fight should be called 'frenching')
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Foxhole. Good to see the GIF.'s back up again.
8 posted on 02/06/2004 4:35:49 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.
BTW, Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. The gipper turns 93. Happy Birthday Gipper!!!!!!
9 posted on 02/06/2004 4:39:20 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: GailA
Good morning and thanks for the link Gail.
10 posted on 02/06/2004 4:40:18 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Aeronaut
Good morning Aeronaut. This one looks like a rocket!
11 posted on 02/06/2004 4:41:21 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: E.G.C.
Good morning EGC. It certainly is.

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan

12 posted on 02/06/2004 4:42:44 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. —Colossians 3:2

What 'hazards' sometimes divert 
your attention from Jesus? 
What positive, God-honoring actions 
can you concentrate on doing instead?

Those who fix their eyes on heaven will not be distracted by the things of earth.

13 posted on 02/06/2004 4:43:44 AM PST by The Mayor (Be steadfast, immovable, . . . knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.)
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To: The Mayor
Good morning Mayor. We're having a little heat wave, it's 43 degrees, yippee!
14 posted on 02/06/2004 4:46:19 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
It's 34 here and I think what you have is headed our way.

It's starting to rain..
15 posted on 02/06/2004 5:16:29 AM PST by The Mayor (Be steadfast, immovable, . . . knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.)
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To: The Mayor
It should be headed your way. But tomorrow is only to be around 30 so enjoy the mild warm-up while you can!
16 posted on 02/06/2004 5:41:45 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
A combat medic from the 101st Airborne was presented a Silver Star for heroism in Iraq yesterday.

If you look at his photo in the story, you can see he's already wearing his Combat Medic Badge.

17 posted on 02/06/2004 6:25:49 AM PST by mark502inf
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To: All
Here's a good story.

Medic Took Bullets, Shrapnel To Rescue Wounded In Attack (Awarded Silver Star)

18 posted on 02/06/2004 6:28:08 AM PST by Johnny Gage (God Bless our Firefighters, our Police, our EMS responders, and most of all, our Veterans)
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To: mark502inf
Thank you mark502inf for the link. What a coincidence. These guys are to be admired.
19 posted on 02/06/2004 6:29:05 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Johnny Gage
Thanks Johnny.
20 posted on 02/06/2004 6:29:50 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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