April 1, 2007:
The U.S. Navy has developed a
shortage of Hospital Corpsmen, sort of. It goes like this. Apparently many of
the most experienced corpsmen are deployed with marine and navy units in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and other operational theaters. Not just as medics in combat
units, but in aid stations and hospitals in the combat zone.
As a result there are a lot of relatively
inexperienced corpsmen in various stages of training or working in their first
assignments. This seems to be putting a considerable strain on the seasoned
corpsmen personnel who must not only supervise the trainees but also continue
to provide medical services in hospitals and other installations in the U.S.,
at overseas bases, and in forces afloat that are not in active theaters. The
lack of experienced Corpsmen in non-combat billets is being felt. The
experienced Corpsmen want to be at the front, where a new generation of medical
tools and medicines makes the first responder (the Corpsmen) more effective
than ever before.
When these combat tested Corpsmen get home, they
are able to provide excellent training for trainees and Corpsmen who have not
been in action yet, but with the usual turnover (retirement, leaving after
first enlistment), and heavy wartime demand for Corpsmen in the combat zones,
there is a perceived shortage of experienced people back home.