Photo Information

CAMP JOHNSON, N.C. - Staff Sgt. William C. Thornton a military advisor with the Field Medical Service School (right) instructs Seaman Recruit Derris K. Graham, a corpsman going through the school, on how to properly handle the M9 service pistol here June 6. The Field Medical School trains corpsman, dental technicians and religious program specialists to work with Marines in the fleet Marine force. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Corpsman learn life saving skills at Field Medical Service School

6 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

“Corpsman up!” is yelled during a firefight and a corpsman rushes to the side of an injured Marine and treats him for a sucking chest wound stabilizing him so he can be evacuated to a safer area.

Corpsman learned how to treat this wound and other life saving skills during the Field Medical Service School.

The school is designed to train corpsman, dental technicians and religious programs specialist to serve with the fleet Marine force, according to Petty Officer 1st Class John Delano, a medical advisor with FMSS.

The school is broken down into five blocks of training, according to Staff Sgt. Charles D. Cox the primary military advisor with FMSS. A test is given at the end of each block of instruction and liberty is secured for the students so they can focus on their studies.

The first 10 days of the course the student’s Marine advisor spends everyday with them. The Marine advisor gives the students some high stress wake ups and marches them from class to class.

“It gives them a feeling for how things are done in the Marine Corps,” Cox said.

All of the sailors training is geared toward what they would be doing in a combat environment, according to Cox.

Sailors learn the rank structure of the Marine Corps and the chain of command during the first block of training.

In the second block of training, students learn how to treat different types of injuries from chest wounds to burns and managing shock.

Students learn how to use their field protective mask, mission oriented protective posture suit and learn about different chemical agents.

“This was one of the hardest tests,” Seaman Apprentice Brandon P. DeMarco, a student going through FMSS. “There is so much nomenclature that it is hard to remember it all.”

The fourth block covers heat and cold related injuries along with treating water. Students also learn how to treat combat stress.

The fifth block is devoted to weapons handling, firing procedures and Marine Corps knowledge. The sailors spend a week in the field practicing land navigation, urban warfare and room clearing. They also practice throwing grenades, patrolling and how to set up defensive positions.

The sailors also learn to do casualty assessments and learn to set up casualty collection points, according to Cox.

Through out the five blocks the sailors go on five hikes each one covering more distance.

“The first hike is two miles just to break in their new boots and their final hike is eight miles,” Cox said.
The final hike must be completed in order to graduate from the course.

The class averages 60 students per cycle that are split into four platoons, according to Cox. The school is one of two Field Medical Service Schools and trains all corpsman, dental technicians and religious programs specialists east of the Mississippi River.

“They are long days and you’re constantly learning,” DeMarco said. “It’s hard to absorb everything and there is not a lot of time to study.”