Honoring the Navy Corpsman

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

Every Marine infantryman and parent or spouse of a Marine infantryman knows the value of a Navy Corpsman and the high esteem in which they are held by the Marines.  They are technically in the Navy (while the Marines are only part of the Department of the Navy).  They have had extensive medical training, and essentially serve as the doctors for the Marine infantry.  But these doctors aren’t just there for medicine.  They carry a rifle, they engage in combat, and they do all of the things that Marine infantrymen do.  When the Marines go on twenty mile humps with full body armor, backpacks and weapons, the Corpsmen do all of that and more.  The Corpsmen take all of their medical gear in addition to their other load.  In many units they carry the nickname “doc.”

One such Corpsman I know returned from Iraq with my son’s unit, 2/6 Golf Company, in 2007.  His last name was Prince, and he was a prince of a guy.  He was very kind and friendly, well trained, in excellent physical condition, and had absolute commitment to his fellow Marines.  He showed me his wound from Iraq within several days of returning.  A round from an AK-47 had entered through the front part of his lower thigh, ricocheted up his thigh, and exited out of the very upper part of the back of his thigh.  Entry and exit wounds (now scars) were at least a foot apart.

Corpsman Prince stayed in Iraq and did his own rehabilitation during the deployment.  The hardest thing about the experience, he told me, was getting enough pairs of clothing after each successive pair became blood stained.  The more interesting thing about what happened that day with Corpsman Prince was what happened to his fellow Marines.  He wasn’t the only one who was wounded in that engagement.  Several other Marines were also wounded, and Prince had to treat them before he could treat himself.  He did so while bleeding out.

Navy Corpsmen are worth their weight in gold, and even if the Commander in Chief isn’t smart enough to know how to pronounce their billet, we have the utmost respect for them.



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  • tatertot

    Thanks to all the Corpsmen who do so much for our soldiers and country!

  • http://www.tail-gunner.net gunner

    Thanks for the kind words about Corpsmen. I spend 7 years as a Corpsman during the 60s. If the Navy would have left me with either the Marines or the flying Navy I would have stayed for 30. There’s nobody better to have on your side than United States Marines – God Bless ‘em every one!

  • DesertPete45

    What an ass!!! As he destroys our entire nation and our extraordinary military he can’t even pronounce the damn word correctly!!! What a damn fool!! I want to see this idiots transcripts! By the way, in case their is any doubt, I honor all the CORPSMEN. Having served in I Corps in RVN, I know the value of our CORPSMEN.

  • ChrisH

    As a former Marine, also serving in I Corps in 69-70, I too respect and honor the unselfish work of our Navy Corpsmen, male or female regardless of how any one individual pronounces the word. The President was also honoring the tradition of Naval medical care to the Marines and DesertPete should lighten up his tone. Semper Fidelis Pete, and all Corpsmen throughout time!

  • grunt

    Please allow an Army grunt who loves all medics to remember here HM3 Russ McGee of Chattanooga, TN, the brother of a dear friend, who was KIA 9 Sep 67 near the DMZ, and who is remembered on The Wall at Line 14, Panel 26E.

  • runawaygun762

    The time I spent attached to 1 MEF during OIF 1, I saw how woefully untrained our Army medics are compared to Navy corpsmen. Those guys attached to Marine units carried things in their aid bags that Army PA’s weren’t authorized to administer. If I am ever hit, I really hope that if I can’t have an SF medic sergeant nearby, then there is a corpsman there.

  • Corpsman1971-79

    I don’t hold it against our Leader. At least now many more Americans have been exposed to the “Corpsman” and what they do. If one is ever lucky enough to become a Corpsman, later in life they will comprehend the great fortune they had. A “HOORAH” to all you “Devil Docs” and a Semper Fi to all our brothers in arms!

  • DesertPete45

    Dammit, I can’t lighten up my tone. Can’t you see what this ass in the oval office is doing to our nation. This ass only says what he thinks will engender a postive reponse when he needs it. Can’t you guys see through this idiot?? That is why he was elected because of stupid damn people who couldn’t see through the veneer of this fool. He is a commie and hates our military!!! We lost 58,000+ in RVN and for what dammit???? The politicos like McNamara, Kissinger, and the fool Cronkite defeated us dammit. You bet I am mad and I will not lighten the hell up. Our nation is being destroyed and I don’t give a damn what Obama says – he doesn’t know how to pronounce the name because he doesn’t dwell in that realm. He is destroying MY country and the future of my children and grandchildren dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hell no I con’t lighten up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DesertPete45

    Hey ChrisH, SEMPER FIDELIS Marine, you have my admiration and respect, USMC 64-68 (RVN ’67) but dammit how can you think the commie in the White House is honoring anyone except himself. Hope and change! Hope for what, never defined and change from what to what, never explained.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    DesertPete,

    Thanks man. Change from constitutional America to the progressive agenda, because they know better than the founding fathers.

  • Pingback: Fleet marine hospital corpsman - About Corpsman | Broadcasting News

  • Paul Kahr

    Thank You MARINES and MARINE FAMILIES !!!
    I was a Navy Hospital Corpman for 20 years and I will die
    as that. I Love You MARINES you fellas and gals are My People.
    Once a MARINE always a MARINE. THANK YOU “Devil Dogs” for keeping
    me safe and well.

    Your Devil Doc for Ever Semper Fidelis

    HM1 Paul Kahr USN(Ret)


You are currently reading "Honoring the Navy Corpsman", entry #4503 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Marine Corps,Navy,Navy Corpsman and was published February 5th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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