Starting Strong: Combat Medic (68W) Prospect

A prospective combat medic is put to the test with simulations of lifesaving scenarios as well as more rigorous training in a simulated battlefield.

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68 Whiskey, Healthcare Specialist, commonly known as Combat Medic. These are the First Responders to wounded Soldiers in the battlefield. These are the heroes that save our heroes.

Our prospect wants adventure mixed with learning, so we brought him to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where all Combat Medics are born.

This is Sergeant Hope, he’s a 68 Whiskey instructor here at Fort Sam Houston.

Nice to meet you, Joseph.

Nice to meet you.

Why do you want to be a 68 Whiskey Combat Medic?

Uh, I want to help people, I want to travel, I just want to, you know, do some adventures.

Okay, well, you better be ready today. We’re going to be doing a lot of training.

I’m ready.

Have fun.

Let’s get this training started.

Save this Soldier’s life, Joe?

Yeah, let’s go.

Let’s go, talk to him. Why are you smiling, it’s not funny. Come on. Why you doing CPR, he’s talking to you. Let’s go, save his life.

What’s wrong with you?

Put your hands on him – check his breathing.

Really bad…

ABCs, let’s go. Why you smiling, it’s not funny. It’s somebody’s life. Come on, he’s talking to you. What are you gonna do. You said you wanna be a medic, what are you gonna do.

Oh…. Oh… [moans]

Come on. Breathe for him, he’s not breathing. Do something, come on. That’s it. He’s dead. Out of fear, you couldn’t do nothing to save his life. It wasn’t funny, was it.


Ready to start training?


Well let’s go.

Joseph begins Combat Medic training. From here on out, he’ll be with his battle buddies day and night. Battle buddies are an important part of the Army experience. They depend on each other for support on and off the battlefield.

This is a [inaudible] surgical [inaudible]. It would happen if you came upon a patient who had maxillofacial trauma.

Next, Joseph takes the skills he learned in the classroom into a simulated battlefield scenario.

Go, go, go, get in there.

Get him!

So Sergeant, talk to me a little bit about this scenario that we’re watching. What kind of a simulation are we looking at? Is this modeled after a village?

As realistic as possible. They might come into a scene, maybe this was by I.E.D. or maybe they got ambushed, numerous casualties, gotta get on the scene, saving lives.

He knew what to grab right away, he grabbed that tube. He’s pretty good.

He’s breathing. He’s breathing.

Finally, he’s breathing!

That’s it, Kutchenberger, that’s it, that’s it.

Alright, so. First of all, how do you feel?

I feel good, I feel pumped. Feelin’ … crazy.

Adrenaline pumping?


What do you think, Sergeant? Gonna be a good Soldier medic?

An outstanding medic. I can’t wait for you to come back and train.

Well, good job, Joseph. This completes your overall classroom training. Next, we’re gonna go out to the field, see how you can address your skills out of Camp Puls.

Alright, let’s go.

In this battlefield simulation, the combat medics must rush to the scene and move the wounded so they can apply the skills they learned.

Watch your step, watch your step!

Today, simulators are replaced with live people. As for the IV, at this level, there is no substitute for the real thing.

Medevac! Medevac! Go!


Roger, [inaudible, shouting] …

A platoon has just been ambushed and some critically-wounded soldiers need medevac back to the fog. Joseph is about to take the ride of his life.

Let’s go!

After a full day of Combat Medic training, Joseph has to make the biggest decision of his life.

We have given Joseph all the information he needs to make his final decision. He’s seen it all, experienced it up close and personal.

It’s time for you to make a choice, Joseph. Are you ready to make a commitment to become a Combat Medic?

But he still has to make his final decision. Will he join the Army, or remain a civilian?

To learn more, visit forward slash startingstrong.