United States Navy SEAL Combat Medic

Being a medic in combat is something special and very valuable. The same as being a Navy SEAL Combat Medic. It means a lot, especially to the other warriors on the battlefield, who feel more secure knowing that there is someone to treat them when needed.

Being medic in the most advanced combat specialty unit in the world is not at all easy as you will be sent where no one has been before, in the most dangerous environments in the world.


It was a year later Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) School before he had to use his skills to save a life.

“We were driving back from a training drive when we saw an overturned truck on the highway,” said a Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL), who wanted to remain anonymous due to his operational status. “A man was trapped in the vehicle and he was missing four fingers.”

It was at this point that the Navy SEAL Combat Medic stepped into action. He was able to stabilize the seriously injured man until help arrived and later had the change to look for the man’s fingers. That is the role of a combat medic – a skilled, calm response to a bloody, unpredictable emergency whenever necessary.

Special Operations Combat Medic course

Each platoon of a SEAL team has two quarters for the Navy SEAL combat medic NEC. Boat departments have one stick. The operators selected for the billets attend one of the toughest schools in the military – Special Operations Combat Medic course at the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, NC

“I still remember being checked in that first day,” recalled Michael Harm, Special Warfare Boat Operator 1st Class (SWCC), a combat medic for Special Boat Team 12. The knowledge you ingest becomes like drinking be out of a hydrant. ‘”

The Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) The course lasts 27 weeks and is taught for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Navy Special Forces. The sailors selected to attend the school are usually volunteers or former hospital soldiers who have completed SEAL or SWCC training.

PFC Kyle Hockenberry, injured in an improvised explosive device attack, is treated by flight medic Cpl. Amanda Mosher during transport by Medevac helicopter to Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on June 15, 2011. (Photo: XY)

Once they’re selected for the program, it’s game time and the stakes are high.

“While you’re there, it has to be what you eat, sleep, breathe,” says SB2 (SWCC) Brian Chandler, a recent SOCM graduate on Special Boat Team 12. “The same goes for BUD / S or SWCC school. That has to be your priority. “

SO3 (SEAL) Roy Perkins, a SOCM who graduated from high school on July 31, agreed with Chandler. “I remember the first training block (which was medical basics) was particularly challenging. They are bombarded with material and it felt like I was just going to class and studying, ”Perkins said.


The course is taught by faculty from all walks of life who expect only the best from their students. Not only do students need to record and reproduce all of the information they are taught, but they also need to follow a rigorous training schedule before going to class all day. They also have to study at least three hours a night and on weekends – no exceptions. If you don’t, you will fail.

“In 27 weeks they’ll take a man who knows absolutely nothing (about medicine) and make him the best battlefield trauma medic in the world,” said Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Michael Brown, Force Medical senior enlisted advisor for NSW.


Brown said the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) students are on a learning path similar to what a third-year medical student would be taught in anatomy and physiology classes. This includes everything from learning to stitch a wound to having a baby, and they get plenty of hands-on training. Students must work in either a clinic or hospital under the watchful eye of doctors. Although they may never have a baby, they have to get their feet wet by performing the duties of an emergency doctor, nurse, or medical assistant.

Perkins said some of the materials taught in the course go beyond clinical medicine and address battlefield hazards, basic drug calculations, hygiene, environmental and chemical, biological and radiological hazards. He also noticed how the instructors kept their material up to date.

US Navy SEAL Combat Medic fights side by side with his buddiesA Navy SEAL Combat Medic fights with his buddies in a firefight against IS fighters in Iraq, 2016 (Photo: YouTube / Still)

“It is noticeable that the school is constantly changing and adapting to keep up to date with the material they teach. ”Those who have the mental strength and passion for trauma medicine successfully and complete the course. “I think that’s the key,” agreed SOC (SEAL) Christopher not, a Special Operations Combat Medics assigned to the Group 1 Training Department.

not, NSW’s Special Operations Combat Medics of the Year 2007, said, “If you want to improve, you have to want to do it (complete the course).” Becoming a Special Operations Combat Medic comes with a great deal of responsibility. “As Special Operations Combat Medics, you have the ability to save people’s lives in times of need,” said SB2 (SWCC) John Cowgar, the SOCM of the year 2008.

A medical degree

There are advantages too. Graduation from school gives the operator a new identifier that allows him to stay in the medical field of the SOF. In addition, he earns more than half of the credits required to study medicine. He would only have to take a test to become a licensed medic. Capt. Gary Gluck, the NSW Force Medical Officer (Navy SEAL Combat Medic) said SOCMs aren’t the only ones receiving a return after investing their time in training.

NSW has the greatest benefit of all. “Our NSW operators have seen an enormous leap in survival after combat injuries compared to previous epochs,” said Gluck. Navy SEAL Combat medics are the backbone of the community, he added. Once a Special Operations Combat Medics graduate, training never stops. He is still expected to do routine departmental training with his respective team and must return to SOCM skills and conservation Courses every two years to the compulsory refresher training.

If he is an SB he can take another skills course within the community to further improve his skills. “I have the (SB) conservation Program to further improve and hone the skills of a SOCM so that they can better treat their teammates, ”explained Cowgar. A program is a phenomenal tool that has tremendously helped NSW and SWCC become combat mediciners.

“If you go to him (Cowgar) first, you have a much higher chance of success in the program,” said Brown. Mentorship between junior and senior SOCMs is critical to learning “real” lessons and maintaining the skills. “The education they receive is good, but there is no substitute for experience,” said SOCS (SEAL) Santos Trujillo, a former SOCM employee of Marine Special Warfare Command.

MEDEVAC Special Operations Combat Medic in UH-60 BlackhawkMEDEVAC Special Operations Combat Medic in UH-60 Blackhawk (Photo: Pinterest)

“It takes a few missions before a man is really comfortable.” For example, Trujillo said that medical evacuations in Afghanistan can take a little longer than most other countries due to the mountainous terrain. As a result, SOCMs (also known as a Navy SEAL Combat Medic) must use what they have learned from their previous medical experience as well as from their education, especially when internal bleeding is an issue. “When you’re new, you have the deer-in-the-headlight effect with paramedics who have never had a human’s life under their control,” Trujillo said.


Much of a Special Operations Combat Medics Mentorship and the training comes not only from senior Special Operations Combat Medics, but also from the hospital Corpsmen attached to crews and boat departments. hospital Corpsmen don’t just help Mentorship, but they also help run NSW’s SOCM program.

Brown said NSW’s SOCM program could never function as effectively without the support of the Corpsman community. Special Operations Combat Medics have proven themselves on the battlefield. When you’re ready to respond to the wanted ad, speak to your chain of command today.

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