I'm a little confused on how combat medics were transferred around. I've heard that often times medics weren't given much more than basic medical training (while others were able to be given thorough training- just depends on what point in the war we were).

So I'm wondering, since divisions like paratroopers had specific training they had to undergo together as a company, at what point was the medic assigned to this company?

In general, I can't seem to find much about what kind of training combat medics went through (as people who simply put themselves as non-combatants or put it as their preferred area of the army, not people who're involved with it in civilian life).

(My sources would be "Medic!" by Robert Franklin and "Doctor Danger Forward" by Allen N. Towne- both excellent reads)

  • Probably differs by service - Navy may be different than Army
    – MCW
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


For combat forces there was a regimental medical department that had personnel ranging from Doctors to stretcher-bearers. A good outline of the evolution of them is here.

The airborne medicos were in fact airborne trained and there is an outline of their organization and operational history at another page on the site.

In the PTO the Marines had aid from Navy Hospital Corpsman. It seems that most trained with the marines and had a fair amount of medical knowledge since they spent time in hospitals. Here's a training guide.

Note that some corpsmen with the same ratings even did surgeries in submarines in emergency cases.


There's a partial answer there on the history section and modern day section:

Combat Medic Wiki Page

There's more in depth info here:

Corpsman.com Combat Medic

Hopefully both of those links will complete each other.

Let me know if you need me to expand.

  • 5
    A brief summary of the content behind the links will likely ease the "link-only answer down-votes" that you receive. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 21:49

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