Anyone ever been a Corspman or Medic? Enlisting Advice/Stories Sought

I’ve decided to enlist in the militarty. In fact, I already have. Signed the dotted line, waiting on my departure date to arrive. There’s been a couple complications with that, on account of having a recruiter who shares a bit -just a smidge we’ll say- of a resemblance with your garden variety Military Recruiter Shark™. I won’t go into too much detail there but basically I can’t hold much of it against him since it is his job to sell the Navy to me and sell me to the Navy, but it would be nice if he didn’t try so hard to disguise that by being my buddy, my pal, whispering saltwater taffy into my ears. So, the plan is to get him to change my rating to HM (he had always promised he would do it, only to renege on me) or threaten to walk. There’s an Army recruiting station a couple doors down, and they still call me.

Only I’m not sure how much I’d want to be a dogface. I’m a roguish sailor pirate, see, not someone with a PhD in mudpies. I’m a pacifist, see, so if I’m going to be a sailor going HM with FMSS (Fleet Medical Service School) seems like the most logical route. Shepherding marines through the minefields; seems like tha Chrisshin thang to do, anyways. What’s that like? What are my odds of actually making it through the “A” School and FMSS and into a marine detachment? Is the job worth it? How would I know if it’s right for me?

The other option, if I must reluctantly “walk” (what good’s an idle threat? or scraping paint off hulls for 5 years?) is Go Army and sign 68Whiskey. Battlefield medic’s still respected in the Army sure, but it’s not quite the bragging rights -thinking maybe I can get any marine to buy me a drink ;). I have a couple buddies who are reservists and ROTC who assure me they know a recruiter who can guarantee me “anything you want Kingslayer” in contract. 68Whiskey (or 37F PSYOP), even Afghanistan deployment. It seems a little far-fetched, but I’m also aware of a few of the differences in Army and Navy enlistment procedures, and how the Army needs bodies a little bit more than the Navy does right now. Getting a deployment in contract actually sounds like a slam dunk on the Army’s part…

Anyway, what’s being a 68W/combat medic (or earlier/foreign equivalent) like? What’s the school/training like? What are my odds of actually finishing everything and getting what I want? How would I know if the job’s right for me?

What’s a good way to decide between the branches? I want to go to Afghanistan, so Army seems like a good route to get there. But for some mystery the Good Lord didn’t see fit to put battleships in the mountains --it’s bad luck, see. If nothing else, well, Marine’s MARPAT really matches my eyes a lot better than ACUs :).

More of a ramble than much else I guess, but if any/all with military experience who have been, have encountered, or have opinions about corspmen/medics or the general army/navy experience please weigh in.

Yer confuzzled pal,
K.M.

What do you mean when you say you have already “signed the dotted line”? Are you in DEP? If so, I’m not sure you can even threaten to walk.

The time to negotiate is before you sign anything. IIRC, if you are joining the Navy for at least 4 years you can have your rating written into your contract.

I am in DEP, yes. “They” may try to tell you that you can no longer walk, if you pull out you’ll go to prison, etc. but it’s just bluster. Up until you step on the bus you can still get out -it’s a half-second later when you’re actually on the thing that it’s too late. One of the stupidest things you could do is drop off the radar and just fail to show up at all on your date, common courtesy to at least give some sort of warning first, but while it technically can land you in jail it probably won’t. Too much potential bad press, not worth the struggle to get a recruit who’d probably turn out a schmuck anyway. So, yes, you can walk. It’s not that cool to do, but if your recruiter is jacking you around and reneging on promises made then threatening to walk is about the only leverage you’ve got to right yer wrongs (what else can you do? the longer he stalls and the longer you wait you’ll be gone anyway), and my former and current military relations have have all advised me “and don’t be afraid to walk”. If that happens then the backup plan is Go Army 68W.

Former Medic then Nurse checking in:

The schooling is relatively easy, though some people had difficulty with working with blood. We had a couple of people faint. You’ll learn to give IVs and the most common types of shots. You’ll learn the common sypmtoms of the things you’ll see the most often like heat maladies, treating for shock, applying pressure bandages, litter bearing and maintaining your med kit.

There is also a long field exercise where you’ll perform the above under battlefield conditions. When I went throught the last exercise was to carry a litter through an obstacle course, over a creek, and up a hillside without dropping the patient or disrupting his IV. Oh and theres automatic rifle fire and grenades going off at the time. Lots of fun.

The training is a Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX, which at the time I was last there was an open post. You’ll see all the services represented there.