Story by Cpl Christian Lopez on 06/25/2019Loblolly boys, surgeons mate, doc, all terms for one highly trained medical professional, a Navy Hospital Corpsman (HM). Working in a wide range of locations such as naval hospitals and health clinics, aboard ships as primary medical caregivers, or with boots on the ground in a deployed or a combat environment, Fleet Marine Force corpsman are the primary caregivers for Marine units and perform emergency medical aid and treatment while in the field or in garrison.
"Our mission is to provide the best health care to Marines and Sailors, as well as providing care to troops that are forward deployed," said U.S. Navy Master Chief Jason Juarez, senior enlisted advisor, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point. "We do our best day in and day out to ensure all troops are mentally and physically ready to complete any mission. "It's our job to ensure their families are also taken care of back home so that's not a distracting factor while they are in the middle of a training exercise or in a combat zone."
Since the late 1800's the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps has had a history of exceptional bravery, courage, and dedication for what they do. Fighting side-by-side with U.S. Marines and taking their skills to combat zones all while providing first aid to wounded men and women. To date, 23 hospital corpsmen have received the Medal of Honor for their bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
"We are a proud rate, 23 of us have received the Medal of Honor," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aubrey Reguindin a Hospital Corpsman assigned to Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point. "Each and every one of the recipients set the example for Corpsmen. We are the largest medical corps in the military and we take pride in that, just to earn the title "Doc" is such a great honor. The name, "Doc" is a blanket term for most personnel in the Navy Hospital Corps but for those of us that have deployed with Marines and earned the Fleet Marine Force badge, it runs a little deeper. It's a bond between us and our Marines that we take care of."
"Doc has respect and responsibility," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (HM-3) Jonathan Randall a Hospital Corpsman assigned to Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point. "When your Marines call you Doc, you know they sincerely trust you to save their lives if need be. I'll always be Doc to my Marines, if I ran into one on the street in 5 years I wouldn't be HM-3, I'd be Doc."
The Navy Hospital Corps plays a huge role in ensuring Sailors and Marines are ready for any mission they come across. Without them, the Navy's and the Marine Corps' medical readiness would take a significant blow.