68W - Health Care Specialist (Combat Medic)

Combat Medic

Just another day for combat medic

When you hear about stories of combat medics risking their lives to take care of a fallen soldier, the MOS where you receive this type of training is the 68W (68 Whiskey).  The Army Military Occupational Specialty is one of the most important job in any unit because there are always injuries, accidents, illnesses, and in some instances emergency medical issues and combat wounded that need help on the battlefield.

The 68 Whiskey is the person who is trained to do just that.

Basic Job Description of the 68W "Combat Medic)

The Health Care Specialist is primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment, limited primary care and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness. Health Care Specialists are often called "combat medics" in the Army, because some Soldiers in this MOS are assigned to deploy with Army combat units, and provide emergency medical treatment directly in combat zones. Other Heath Care Specialists are assigned to military hospitals and clinics to assist doctors and nurses with the health care needs of patients.

Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:

Administer emergency medical treatment to battlefield casualties. Assist with outpatient and inpatient care and treatment. Interview patients and recording their medical histories. Take patients' temperature, pulse and blood pressure.

Prepare blood samples for laboratory analysis. Keep health records and clinical files up-to-date. Give shots and medicines to patients. Prepare patients, operating rooms, equipment and supplies for surgery. Some of the more common needs of the medic is to administer intravenous solution in the field to soldiers dehydrated from long movements and training.

Training Information

Job training for a health care specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 16 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, including practice in-patient care.

Health Care Specialists can also receive advanced medical training to "specialize" in one of several areas. Following additional training, they are awarded an ASI (Additional Skill Identifier), as follows:

  • M3 - Dialysis (skill level 1-4 only)
  • M6 - Practical/Vocational Nurse (skill level 1-4 only)
  • N1 - Aircraft Crewmember Standardization Instruction (skill level 2-3)
  • N3 - Occupational Therapy (skill level 1-4 only)
  • N9 - Physical Therapy (skill level 1-4 only)
  • P1 - Orthopedics (skill level 1-4 only)
  • P2 - Ear, Nose, and Throat and Hearing Readiness (skill level 1-4 only)
  • P3 - Optometry/Ophthamology (skill level 1-4 only)
  • W1 - Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCOM) (skill level 1-4 only)
  • W2 - Civil Affairs Medical SGT (skill level 1-4 only)
  • W4 - Civil Affairs Trauma Medical SGT (skill level 2-4 only)
  • Y6 - Cardiovascular (skill level 1-4 only)
  • Y8 - Immunization/Allergy.

ASVAB Score Required: GT 107 and ST 101

Security Clearance: None

Strength Requirement: moderately heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 222121

Other Requirements

  • None

Similar Civilian Occupations

  • Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

As a 68 Whiskey in your unit, you will be expected to know your job and be available to those in need at a moment's notice.  If caring for others, applying medical knowledge and experience, and being able to remain calm and think when someone is having the worst day of their life is something you have a calling to do, the combat medic profession needs you.

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