* Wherever you find hospital corpsmen, the expression, especially in time of war, "Above and beyond the call of duty" is commonly heard. What is the basis for this? Why have so many members of the Corps been cited for performance of duty and for gallantry giving their lives in an attempt to save a life? It stems from a proud tradition that started in 1799 through an act of Congress; provide "A convient place shall be set apart for the sick and hurt men, to which they are to be removed, and some of the crew shall be appointed to attend them"
* Whenever you find the Navy, wherever you find the Marine Corps, there you will find the Navy Hospital Corpsman. In times of peace, he toils unceasingly, day and night, often in routine monotonous duties. In times of war, he is on the beaches, in the jungles, in the frozen tundra, and in the bitterly cold mountains with the Marines, is employed in amphibious operations, in transportation of wounded by air, in the front battle lines, on all types of ships, submarines, aircraft carriers, landing craft. In short, wherever medical service may be required, the hospital corpsman is there, not only willing but prepared to serve his country and his fellow man ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY.
* The mission of the Hospital Corps is to give on land, sea, and in the air, intelligent, capable, and efficient assistance to Medical, Dental, Medical Service, Nurse, and Hospital Corps Officers in the eternal war against disease, injury, and death, and to aid in maintaining the supply and administrative functions of the supportive branches of the Medical Department; in the absence of these officers, to display the knowledge and judgement required to meet all emergencies and in
every possible manner assist to the best of their ability, training and knowledge in the function of the medical department of the Navy, i.e. , TO KEEP AS MANY MEN AT AS MANY GUNS AS MANY DAYS AS POSSIBLE.
The U.S. Marine Corps does not have it's own medical personnel like the U.S. Army does. It depends on the Navy to fill all of its' medical requirements. Medical enlisted personnel attached to the Navy are called "Hospital Corpsmen". Medical enlisted personnel in the Army are called "Medics".
The first school for training hospital corpsmen was in 1902 at Norfolk, Virginia. Other schools were established later at Great Lakes, Illinois, Bainbridge, Maryland, and San Diego, California. In 1951 the Field Medical Services School was set up at Camp Pendleton, California and at Camp Lejune, North Carolina in order to provide field medical training for corpsmen going to the Fleet Marine Force.
US Navy Corpsmen have to first go through Hospital Corps "A" School. There were two schools remaining in 1967; one located at Great Lakes and the other in San Diego. Corpsmen are trained to learn all of the medications, what they are used for, dosages, the effect of the medication and any side affects. They learn to give medications (orally, rectally, and through injections). Also learned are treatments for emergencies or traumas, bedside manners, taking blood, and diagnosing illnesses. The course lasted 14 weeks. After completing this they are sent to Field Medical Service School (FMS) at Camp Pendleton, California for medical field training. This course lasts 4 weeks. It deals mainly with trauma cases, how to apply bandages to the different parts of the body, starting intravenous injections for fluids, how and when to give morphine, how to keep marines in the bush from getting infections, malaria, heat stroke and various other tasks to keep the marines healthy while in the bush. They also learn about keeping sanitary conditions in the rear area and how to monitor them. Upon completion of FMS School they are given the choice of a Naval Hospital in the Continental U.S. to be stationed at for one year. After the year ends the corpsmen receive orders either to naval installations, ships, the Coast Guard, or the Fleet Marine Force. In 1968 the majority went to the Marines in Vietnam. If they went to Vietnam and were stationed in country, they were assigned to the various units such as the Naval Supply Activity Hospital, to one of two hospital ships sitting outside the city of DaNang, different Marine helicopter squadrons for medevacs, battalion aid stations, platoons in the bush, Reconnisance units in the bush and Riverine boat units.
* HOSPITAL CORPSMAN HANDBOOK 1967