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Medical Technician's and the Combat Arms.

Michael OLeary

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BadgerTrapper said:
I've nothing wrong with doing maintenance duty or "Soldiering" as you call it as long as I get some time out in the field, on ex, Range time etc. My main focus is on performing actual, medical duties and treatment. Initial care upon injury, that kind of thing.

Just as long as you realize that for the rest of us, it's a good day when the medics don't have to practice their primary function.

 

BadgerTrapper

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Trust me, Mr O'leary. I know that all too well, especially regarding Firefighting. From a realist point of view, we know that it WILL happen so we may as well be prepared to deal with it to the best of our abilities. It comes down to enthusiasm though, would you prefer a Well-trained, well-practiced Medic taking care of your injuries or an unproven, un-tested Medic? May be a hard analogy to understand, and for that I apologize.
 

Michael OLeary

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I'll take a focused and well-trained medic every time, because if he or she is focused and well trained they will apply the same commitment to all of the "doing maintenance duty or "Soldiering" as [we] call it." No-one in the CF does just the single skill set associated with their trade title, we all appreciate well rounded service members who fulfill all the expectations of their employment.

Keep in mind that your enthusiasm and commitment are going to be judged long before you have to open your medical kit.
 

resolute

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Jim Seggie,

I was commenting on how "admin heavy" certain trades in the military are, for the benefit of somebody who is apparently "on the outside, looking in."  As was mentioned by another poster, there are things stated (or not stated) by the recruiting office that may have been "deal breakers" had they been known by those (like myself) who are now active members.  I was promised "a day per week working in the ER" for the Maintenance of Clinical Skills Program.  I had (pipe) dreams of using those hours to become eligible to sit the Emergency Medicine exam and acquire an increased scope of practice.  Ask anybody who knows the situation at 1 Fd Amb / Edmonton, and they will tell you that the MCSP situation is laughable (for various reasons that I will not get into via this forum).  I don't think any of us on this board are trying to persuade anybody to join or not join.  But, I think most of us would agree that knowing what you are getting into (as much as this is possible) is key to having a positive attitude and for career longevity.

I do not need principles of leadership quoted, or to be reminded of my "admin duties."  I was IC of the Role 1 in Kandahar for a time, and definitely had my share of admin.  In the CDU's, I make a habit to mentor my medics and then give them progressive levels of responsibility and autonomy.  And I am now one of the new UMT docs (who gets only 2.5 days per week of clinic and 2.5 days of admin/randomness), as I alluded to above. 

I'll do my job, and do it well.  But it doesn't mean I have to like every aspect of it (or be overwhelmingly and delusionally optimistic about the CF in general).  And it doesn't mean I necessarily have to "be a lifer" if it is less professionally rewarding than I had imagined.  And there is nothing dishonourable about that.

/rant
 

mariomike

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CDN Aviator said:
Maintaining vehicles and equipment that are necessary in order for your unit to accomplish its mission is not "busy work".

I agree.
It may take some getting used to by semi-skilled applicants coming out of the colleges. These days their experience with the above, including station cleaning, could be minimal at best, or close to nil. Much of that work used to be done by the crews themselves. But now - depending on which service they precepted with - it has almost entirely been taken over by the Operations Support Division staff. 

 

BadgerTrapper

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Medical Technician's deployed to the Combat arms, do they fight with that unit as if they were the same role as that unit. I.e. Would a Medical Tech with the infantry fight with the Infantry? And man an artillery piece if they are artillery?
 

medicineman

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You are ancillary staff with the Cbt Arms - if you're in a firefight, you shoot back obviously, but you also have other issues to worry about usually as well  ;).  You aren't a gun number on a gun or crewman in a tank (though you can be crew in the armoured ambulance).

MM
 

BadgerTrapper

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Though they wouldn't give a Med Tech a C9 and have them lay down suppressive fire? They'd focus on being a mobile element in a Firefight, attending to the wounds of those who need it? While partaking in the Firefight itself . . . I like the sounds of this.
 

medicineman

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I'd be surprised if they gave you a C-9 - they're a bit of a target, and the infantry guys have a vested interest in making sure you're protected.

MM
 

DiverMedic

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medicineman said:
I'd be surprised if they gave you a C-9 - they're a bit of a target, and the infantry guys have a vested interest in making sure you're protected.

MM

Chances are highly unlikely you will be given a C9 or C6, you need to remain mobile in case anyone is injured, plus the MG is a pretty essential piece of kit in an infantry section.  Having said that tho, you are trained in how to use them and most medics end up doing SQ and spend some time doing live fire.

DM
 

jmlane

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CDN Aviator said:
Maintaining vehicles and equipment that are necessary in order for your unit to accomplish its mission is not "busy work".
It may be considered busy work for those members that signed-up to do a job that they did not think included such duties, regardless of how necessary it may be in actuality. My point was that the recruiting materials and information given by some recruiters do not always honestly disclose the frequency of your day-to-day admin/maintenance duties. I understand trying to obtain recruiting numbers and using marketing tactics to do so, however there should be more clarity about the not-so-obvious duties each member can expect to be doing regularly. It is preferable to have people with an understanding that these duties are necessary to maintain operational capacity (as you pointed out), as opposed to dealing with disgruntled new members who felt "tricked" into that work.
 

OldSolduer

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medicineman said:
I'd be surprised if they gave you a C-9 - they're a bit of a target, and the infantry guys have a vested interest in making sure you're protected.

MM

Not to mention that as a med tech you carry a weapon only  for self defense or the defense of your patients.

 

medicineman

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Jim Seggie said:
Not to mention that as a med tech you carry a weapon only  for self defense or the defense of your patients patience.

FTFY... ;D. 

All joking aside, we've crossed into an interesting gray zone - we remounted C-6's on the armoured ambs, we're preaching scene safety=killing/suppressing bad guys, etc.  In theory, medics aren't to carry or be employed on crew served weapons - of course my Pl WO with 1VP many moons ago then made me the #2 on the 60mm if we were in a defensive, since the CCP and alternate CP were one in the same with the mortar pit, so I could be gainfully employed if not plugging holes.  From dealings with the US, in particular the USN Hospital Corpsmen with the Marines, there were wide variations of what they carried - usually a pistol and or a 12G shotgun, sometimes an M-16/M-4.  As the guys with their Recon Units are considered shooters, some often ended up with a SAW.  The Army medics I worked with usually had an M-16 or M-4.

I'd be interested to hear the legal interpretation of a medic carrying even the cut down version of the C-9, since even a rifle is an offensive weapon really, since the range exceeds that of our personal defense type weapons (SMG's, pistols).

My morning caffiene deficient :2c:

MM
 

MedCorps

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There has been some talk on this recently, given the current contemporary operating environment.

It comes down to something like this:

A weapon is a tool. Tools can be used offensively or defensively, or to prop open a door or as shovel.

Canadian personnel subject to the Geneva Convention, regardless of the environment or adversarial compliance with the Geneva Convention will only use weapons defensively to protect themselves or their patients.  Can a aggressive fighting defence exist? Most certainly... if required based on the threat. We have a number of examples from the current conflict.

So then we look at the concept of  weapons for CFHS personnel, based on the War Establishment.  These include the service pistol, the service rifle / carbine (although there are no C8's on the TO&E), the light machine gun for area defence (Role 2 and 3), and the Claymore Command Detonated Weapon (Role 2 and 3). If it is on the TO&E for the War Establishment is it save to assume that one can use it in a defensive role.  Most notably missing is the fragmentation grenade, which has been deemed but someone to be a weapon designed more for offensive purposes than defensive purposes and hence not on the TO&E for HS units.

The C6 on armoured ambulances, is still a fiercely debated topic and is a frequent ethical topic debated at all officer ranks and within the JAG (I am not sure I have ever heard and NCM debate the concept much).  It is a current exemption to the rule, based on a sound legal opinion and requires a semi-annual review and sign off by the Generals involved in assuming the liability and risk for allowing such an activity. We will see where this settles when all is said and done at the end of Afghanistan operations. The War Establishment TO&E does not have this weapons system on allocation.

You are in a position that is being attacked and a collective defence needs to be mounted with you as the #2 on the mortar... is this ok?  I would think so, it is given that a collective defence is required to assure your survival and you are just doing your bit.

You are trying to prep fire a target with the the same mortar prior to it being assaulted with troops as part of an offensive operations with you as #2 on the tube... is this ok?  I would suggest no.

You need to fire illumination... I would suggest this is fine, regardless of the offensive / defensive situation as the weapon system is not being used directly for killing but rather as a flashlight.

In the end we all need to live with our actions at the end of the day and we are all grown ups.

There are some other issues with respect to the GC and war that are a little more complex and that I will not get into here.

Just some food for thought based on the current state of business.

MC
 

ModlrMike

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MedCorps said:
The C6 on armoured ambulances, is still a fiercely debated topic and is a frequent ethical topic debated at all officer ranks and within the JAG (I am not sure I have ever heard and NCM debate the concept much).

That's because we understand that ambulances are bullet magnets that require the ability to provide sufficient return fire.
 

mikeninercharlie

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I was present when a former DGHS damn near blew an ovary when she discovered that ambulances, with the red crosses concealed, were being armed with C6s. As a non-clinician, even she understood that ambulance crews had no desire in becoming martyrs in a jihad...
 

medicineman

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mikeninercharlie said:
I was present when a former DGHS damn near blew an ovary when she discovered that ambulances, with the red crosses concealed, were being armed with C6s. As a non-clinician, even she understood that ambulance crews had no desire in becoming martyrs in a jihad...

Mike - I seriously doubt she had ovaries...

It's a little odd when you look at the US - their air ambulances and their armoured land ambulances don't have defensive MG's on them, even in Iraq or Afghanistan (last I looked anyway, please correct me if more up to date info is out there)...and yes, they're lead magnets.  I seem to recall going through this in 94 when we deployed to Croatia...apparently the 113 ambs had the old Browning GPMG's mounted in 93, then they got taken down in 94.  The story we were told was it gave the silhouette of a combat vehicle because of the gun, so to ensure the bad guys wouldn't try to light us up if they could only see the shape, they decided to take the guns down.  I'd also heard some folks were a little disturbed that one of the callsigns had apparently tried engaging some Croats in Medak with said GPMG.

I got told off for doing air sentry in Kabul on the vehicle I usually rode in -Bison MRT- when we did convoy escorts...was even told so much as to not have my weapon visible and keep my GC crosshairs visbile on my arm (I used to do the opposite) if I wanted to "hang out" in the family hatch.  No names no pack drill...

MM
 

OldSolduer

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I can't recall an M113 Amb being armed. However, it's Afghanistan it would make sense to arm the ambs as the Taliban didn't sign the Geneva conventions. No doubt in my mind that the Red Cross made an excellent aiming mark.

 

DiverMedic

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medicineman said:
I got told off for doing air sentry in Kabul on the vehicle I usually rode in -Bison MRT- when we did convoy escorts...was even told so much as to not have my weapon visible and keep my GC crosshairs visbile on my arm (I used to do the opposite) if I wanted to "hang out" in the family hatch.  No names no pack drill...

MM

I know I had to get permission to be air sentry in my Bison.  Was actually there for a month before it happened.  Due to decreased manning, I was also air sentry in a LAV and TLAV at times.

We were also told NOT to wear the red crosses outside of KAF or anything medical related (ie: no MEDIC badges or anything with a cross)

DM
 

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Jim Seggie said:
I can't recall an M113 Amb being armed. However, it's Afghanistan it would make sense to arm the ambs as the Taliban didn't sign the Geneva conventions. No doubt in my mind that the Red Cross made an excellent aiming mark.

Aye, I believe I was reading somewhere that Medic's don't tend to wearr any kind of designation, whether it be the Red cross or what have you on their kit when they're outside the wire. Just gives the Taliban a target, with that said. Do any of you currently believe that there will be a rehashing of the ROE for Medical Tech's and such?

(Slight update on my situation for becoming a Med Tech, I'm currently merit listed. Just waiting to hear back in the first week of August as to whether or not I was selected for the Med Tech NCM-SEP. Even if I'm not selected, I'll still take the course then just reapply as a PCP Certified/ Level 1 Firefighter. Here's hoping! *fingers crossed*)
 
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