Medical corps

The medical service is indispensable for today's modern military forces and should ensure the rapid care of injured soldiers at any time in order to make them capable of fighting again as soon as possible. Integration into the army has been part of modern warfare for several centuries, with origins dating back to antiquity.

Das Rote Kreuz Symbol

The red cross symbol



The emergence of military medical service:

Already in the early days of the ancient wars, healers and their assistants followed the fighting troops to supply them after a battle. As a rule, this was done less for humanitarian reasons than for self-serving drive to subsequently receive money or goods from those treated.

The first organized military integration took place in the Roman army, when reforms arose under the Emperors Augustus and Vespasian, assigning to each legion at least 6 physicians and their assistants. Based on the costly training of the legionnaires, it was important for the emperors to treat the wounded as effectively as possible after a battle in order to then use them again. This was to avoid unnecessary injury losses, increase the morale of the Legion, and increase loyalty. Civilian doctors were often obliged and paid well for short escorts in campaigns.




The medical service in the Middle Ages:

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the then very modern Roman army, whose structure, structure and equipment were only partly taken over during the European Middle Ages, also disintegrated. The integration of medical staff was not one of them. The armed forces from Europe were now, as in antiquity, accompanied by doctors, nurses and assistants voluntarily and the soldiers had to pay the treatment again.


Frühes medizinisches Besteck

Early medical cutlery


As a result of the rapidly increasing number of soldiers involved in conflicts, wounded people often remained among the civilians who lived near battlefields and had to take care of them.

In addition, with the emergence of the universities, two types of paramedics emerged. On the one hand, the academically educated Medicus developed, focusing on the treatment of internal medicine in terms of diseases and epidemics. On the other hand, there was the surgeon, who specialized in the treatment of open wounds.


Sanitäts Pferdewagen aus dem 18. Jahrhundert

Medical horse carriage from the 18th century




The modern medical service:

With the deployment of modern military forces at the end of the 19th century and the emergence of the Red Cross, it was again begun to integrate medical personnel in the armed forces and to enhance their position within the military. Thus, the first doctors got officers' ranks, so that soon developed a career for the medical service.

Another major change for the medical service was the Geneva Convention's decision, which was based on the humanitarian foundations of Henry Dunant and was supposed to give special status to the medical service (civil and military).


Versorgung eines verwundeten Soldaten

Care of a wounded soldier




The Geneva Convention:

Today's foundations of civil and military integrated medical services are based on the Geneva Accord. The agreement aims to protect the work, persons and aids (vehicles, ships, hospitals, buildings, etc.) from acts of war.

Thus, e.g. the shooting and occupation of hospitals and buildings, the capture of members of the medical service and the prevention / obstruction of their work prohibited.

In return, persons, vehicles or buildings of the medical service may not be used for military purposes such as the transport of weapons or soldiers or as a protective shield against fire.




Equipment of the military medical service:

In order to be able to carry out the requirements fully and reliably in use, today's military medical services are equipped with a large number of vehicles and equipment.

These include emergency vehicles for first aid:



Air transport to the nearest field hospital or hospital:




Modulares Rettungszentrum der Bundeswehr

Modular rescue center of the german army






You can find the right literature here:


First Aid & Health Service Support Operations: U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

First Aid & Health Service Support Operations: U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Paperback – February 11, 2012

Basic battlefield and military first aid training responsibilities are shared by the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Injuries, wounds, and casualties are similar at the basic level. Additional specialties are addressed as necessary in each individual branch. This field training workbook is used as a quick reference manual for supportive care as well as guidance for the total skills competency required of medical personnel. In addition to providing the most concise information for consistent training and efficient learning, this text also provides guidance for diagnostics and self-testing. It is an indispensable tool in preparing for both standardized competencies testing and real-world practice of medical skills. The materials combined in this book provide complete, easily understandable, and well-planned learning tools for both military and civilian students. The nation’s nursing and medical staff shortage continues to have the potential to negatively impact the quality and safety of patient care both in civilian and military medical treatment facilities. Insufficient Army nursing capacity and in some cases low density specialties can threaten the viability of current and future AMEDD missions. The United States military is recognized internationally as the standard for complete, efficient and effective adult education. The military has a tradition of pioneering training systems that then transition into the corporate civilian sector. This manual has been continuously tested and updated to successfully educate every member of the modern United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Included Documents and Features: First Aid Chapter 1. Fundamental Criteria for First Aid Chapter 2. Basic Measures for First Aid Chapter 3. First Aid for Specific Injuries Chapter 4. First Aid for Fractures Chapter 5. First Aid for Climatic Injuries Chapter 6. First Aid for Bites and Stings Chapter 7. First Aid in a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Environment Chapter 8. First Aid for Psychological Reactions APPENDIX A. First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages A-1. First Aid Case with Field Dressings and Bandages A-2. General Purpose First Aid Kits A-3. Dressings A-4. Standard Bandages A-5. Triangular and Cravat (Swathe) Bandages APPENDIX B. Rescue and Transportation Procedures B-1. General B-2. Principles of Rescue Operations B-3. Considerations B-4. Plan of Action B-5. Proper Handling of Casualties B-6. Positioning the Casualty B-7. Medical Evacuation and Transportation of Casualties B-8. Manual Carries B-9. Improvised Litters Health Service Support Operations Chapter 1. Fundamentals Chapter 2. Intelligence Chapter 3. Operations Chapter 4. Logistics Chapter 5. Planning Chapter 6. Command and Control Chapter 7. Preventive Medicine Chapter 8. Patient Movement Chapter 9. Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Chapter 10. Combat Casualty Reporting Chapter 11. Training Appendices A. Blood Support B. Authorized Medical and Dental Allowance Lists C. Glossary D. References and Related Publications References, Index, Appendices and Glossary Supporting Each Section

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Ranger Medic Handbook: 75th Ranger Regiment Trauma Management Team (Tactical)

Ranger Medic Handbook: 75th Ranger Regiment Trauma Management Team (Tactical) (2007 Edition) Paperback – June 4, 2013

Ranger Medic Handbook: The mission of the 75th Ranger Regiment Trauma Management Team (Tactical) is to provide medical care and training in accordance with the tenets of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Tactical Medical Emergency Protocols, and Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support. Table of Contents: Section One Rmed Mission Statement Rmed Charter Review Committees Editorial Consultants & Contributors Key References Rmed Scope of Practice Rmed Standing Orders & Protocol Guidelines Casualty Assessment & Management Tactical Combat Casualty Care (Tccc) Section Two Tactical Trauma Assessment Protocol Medical Patient Assessment Protocol Airway Management Protocol Surgical Cricothyroidotomy Procedure King-Lt D Supralaryngeal Airway Insertion Procedure Orotracheal Intubation Procedure Hemorrhage Management Procedure Tourniquet Application Procedure Hemostatic Agent Application Protocol Tourniquet Conversion

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The German Army Medical Corps in World War II

The German Army Medical Corps in World War II Hardcover – March 1, 1999

This is the only book in English to present a detailed look at the German medical corps in World War II. Among the topics covered are training, structure of the corps, equipment, transport, medical care in a variety of combat zones, and a selection of personal memoirs from veterans.

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Faithful in Adversity: The Royal Army Medical Corps in the Second World War

Faithful in Adversity: The Royal Army Medical Corps in the Second World War Hardcover – November 19, 2019

The Royal Army Medical Corps was present during all engagements in the Second World War. From the frozen wastes of Norway through to liberation from the death camps of Germany and the Far East, RAMC personnel were frequently close to the front line, risking their lives to provide medical support to a mobile army in a mechanised war. Nearly 3,000 army medics were killed during the war as a result of enemy action and exposing themselves to dangerous tropical diseases.

Using much previously unpublished material from public and private family archives, this book charts the story of those who remained true to the motto of the RAMC: Faithful in Adversity.

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