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View Full Version : Anyone a Navy Corpsman?



EriRae
06-04-2008, 12:32 PM
I am looking for an actual corpsman's perspective, rather than what the military tells me on their sites. Does anyone here have firsthand knowledge, from Basic to specific corpsman training to living on base to assignments during peacetime (1995-2001) and wartime?

This is for women's fiction, so I'm not looking to get TOO in-depth, but I want my male MC to be realistic.

Thanks in advance for your help!

EriRae
06-24-2008, 11:51 AM
Any NAVY anything? Anyone with some understanding of how training works?

I have an enlisted man who wants to become a Corpsman. He jumps from the E-2 program to the E-4 program with no 3-year tour between, because he's top of his class and they need more experienced Corpsmen to work with the Marines. This is in pre-war 1996. Is this totally ridiculous?

mscelina
06-24-2008, 12:33 PM
Sorry I can't help, Erin. All I can do is cheer you up and keep bumping the thread.

Cheering you up:

This is the closest LOLCat I have that might have anything to do with the Navy.

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i293/isabelle_spurrier/outtamahway.jpg

Elaine Margarett
06-24-2008, 04:26 PM
Any NAVY anything? Anyone with some understanding of how training works?

I have an enlisted man who wants to become a Corpsman. He jumps from the E-2 program to the E-4 program with no 3-year tour between, because he's top of his class and they need more experienced Corpsmen to work with the Marines. This is in pre-war 1996. Is this totally ridiculous?

I think you can make it work. Even in the military there are exceptions and who among your readers is going to know any different? Write it well and make it work!

Good luck~

EM

Aragon
06-24-2008, 08:27 PM
The navy would not have jumped his rank. They are not called programs, by the way. An E designation means he is enlisted and the number after is a rank level. O would be for officers. I cannot remember the rank break downs for the Navy, as I was a Marine. He would have probably been E-3 by the time he got done with his corpsman school. He then would have had his choice of locations, but not always. They assign people where they need them, so if they needed him there, he would have been sent.

WackAMole
06-24-2008, 08:47 PM
Hiyas

Dont know how much help this will be but my dad was a Navy Corpsman attached to the marines during the vietnam war. Of course things have changed alot in the military but he might have some info for you. If you want me to ask him a few questions or ask him if you can ask him lemme know :)

Also, I was a medic in the US Army. Army equivalent of the corpsman. If its basic types of stuff like I can probably answer a few questions about what military life is like. Though it varies from branch to branch, some of the stuff is probably pretty standard. (im a woman FYI, so my experience may have been different than a guys.) Lemme know if i can help :)

jclarkdawe
06-25-2008, 12:10 AM
You might want to look on wikipedia for navy corpsmen.

In the Navy, you go in as an E-1 -- recruit. That is your rank at Great Lakes, which is the Navy's recruit training. If you do your pre-enlistment stuff and complete it and demonstrate that you know it during training, you get promoted to E-2 -- apprentice. Training officers (Petty Officers not officers) can promote up to 10% of each class one grade, which means that you can come out of recruit training as an E-3 -- seaman or airman. This is your maximum advancement through recruit training.

If you're doing good, and have the time in service (I think 1 year, but I'm not sure), you then go for E-4. You need to take an exam of which half the test is your job skills and the other half is general Navy knowledge. An E-4 is a Petty Officer third class or the equal of a corporal. Again, after sufficient time in rank, you can go for E-5, Petty Officer second class, or the equal of a sergeant.

After a longer time in service, you can go for E-6, Petty Officer first class. After that (E-7 and above), you are a Chief Petty Officer (commonly just called a Chief) and have significant responsibilities.

Beginning ranks can be skipped if you have significant professional skills prior to the Navy. In other words, if he was a lab technician, he could go out of recruit training as an E-4 or E-5. No prior training and the Navy doesn't care how smart you are, you don't skip ranks. Though if you're really smart, they'll want you to go nuke.

Ranks for corpsmen are as follows:
HR - Hospitalman Recruit (E-1)
HA - Hospitalman Apprentice (E-2)
HN - Hospitalman (E-3)
HM3 - Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4)
HM2 - Hospital Corpsman Second Class (E-5)
HM1 - Hospital Corpsman First Class (E-6)
HMC - Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-7)
HMCS - Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-8)
HMCM - Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-9)As your rank goes up, your training and skills go up. A hospitalman is probably just changing bedpans. Most of the semi-skilled positions (lab tech, x-ray tech, so on and so forth) are going to be E-4 through E-6.

Nurses are officers. I don't know what rank they start out at.

Marine corpsmen (all Navy) have specialized training, as do paramedics.

If you know what actual position you want your corpsman to be, talking to your local recruiter would enable you to find out the specific training program he would have followed. The military involves numerous schools as your job skills and rank improve.

For example, my daughter, who's a Petty Officer third class (and likely to get a promotion in December) is presently learning to be a paralegal. This program is not available to seamen. You have to be E-4 and above to take it. If she becomes a Chief (several years down the road) she'll have to go to a school to teach her how to run a law office, as well as some other schools.

Hope this helps you.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Williebee
06-25-2008, 12:22 AM
jclarkdawe has some good info. A couple of notes.

I was in from 83-92.

Jobs in the Navy are called Rates. Boot camp could be Great Lakes, San Diego, or Orlando, FL. They are/were called NTC's (Naval Training Centers)

Most Corpsman, at that point, went in to be Corpsman. They had that job assignment before they went to boot camp. And, they may have had a deal that would get them to E-3 right out of boot camp, with advancement to E-4 after successful completion of schooling. (This was unusual, by the way. That kind of a package was offered to sailors going into "in demand" jobs, like Nuclear Training and Submariners.)

Otherwise, in boot camp, testing may have revealed an aptitude (or a slot that needed to be filled by the Navy) and he might be offered Corpsman, and could conceivably make it to E-5 (Petty Officer 2nd Class) near the end of his first 4 years, but it would have been unusual. (There are a lot of people taking the exams, and only a few slots available.)

EriRae
06-25-2008, 09:44 AM
The navy would not have jumped his rank. They are not called programs, by the way. An E designation means he is enlisted and the number after is a rank level. O would be for officers. I cannot remember the rank break downs for the Navy, as I was a Marine. He would have probably been E-3 by the time he got done with his corpsman school. He then would have had his choice of locations, but not always. They assign people where they need them, so if they needed him there, he would have been sent.

Thanks for helping me figure out the rank vs. training.

Wiki advised that they train in Great Lakes, and if they want to work with the Marines, they train in Camp Pendleton. To rephrase my question, is there any way they would send him from Great Lakes to Camp Pendleton for training without at least a one-year tour?

EriRae
06-25-2008, 09:51 AM
No prior training and the Navy doesn't care how smart you are, you don't skip ranks.

I'm not concerned with rank, and I apologize that I misunderstood Wikipedia's info. They advised that training is at Great Lakes, and then there's more training at Camp Pendleton. How do I get my boy to Camp Pendleton right out of Great Lakes? Would he be allowed to work with the Marines there until he's ready for the extra training?


[quote] As your rank goes up, your training and skills go up. A hospitalman is probably just changing bedpans. Most of the semi-skilled positions (lab tech, x-ray tech, so on and so forth) are going to be E-4 through E-6.

Nurses are officers. I don't know what rank they start out at.

Marine corpsmen (all Navy) have specialized training, as do paramedics.

If you know what actual position you want your corpsman to be, talking to your local recruiter would enable you to find out the specific training program he would have followed. The military involves numerous schools as your job skills and rank improve.

I will definitely look into this.


For example, my daughter, who's a Petty Officer third class (and likely to get a promotion in December) is presently learning to be a paralegal. This program is not available to seamen. You have to be E-4 and above to take it. If she becomes a Chief (several years down the road) she'll have to go to a school to teach her how to run a law office, as well as some other schools.

Hope this helps you.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Thanks Jim! And thanks to your daughter, for serving our country. Wishing her the best of luck to follow her dreams!

EriRae
06-25-2008, 09:53 AM
jclarkdawe has some good info. A couple of notes.

I was in from 83-92.

Jobs in the Navy are called Rates. Boot camp could be Great Lakes, San Diego, or Orlando, FL. They are/were called NTC's (Naval Training Centers)

Most Corpsman, at that point, went in to be Corpsman. They had that job assignment before they went to boot camp. And, they may have had a deal that would get them to E-3 right out of boot camp, with advancement to E-4 after successful completion of schooling. (This was unusual, by the way. That kind of a package was offered to sailors going into "in demand" jobs, like Nuclear Training and Submariners.)

Otherwise, in boot camp, testing may have revealed an aptitude (or a slot that needed to be filled by the Navy) and he might be offered Corpsman, and could conceivably make it to E-5 (Petty Officer 2nd Class) near the end of his first 4 years, but it would have been unusual. (There are a lot of people taking the exams, and only a few slots available.)

I know I asked this above, but could he serve his term at the Marine base at Camp Pendleton? Is there a hospital there?

Aragon
06-25-2008, 10:04 AM
Every major base has a hospital, though the smaller ones have an aid station and a way to get to one. So, yes Pendleton has a nice one.

EriRae
06-25-2008, 10:08 AM
Thanks, Aragon. I might just have him stationed there.

Aragon
06-25-2008, 10:16 AM
I can tell you about Cherry Point, Albany and Parris Island. I have been to other bases, but those were the ones I actually got to slow down at. Those are east coast, though. I have been to Pendleton a few times and the hospital, but not enough to take a breather at.

EriRae
06-25-2008, 11:13 AM
I can tell you about Cherry Point, Albany and Parris Island. I have been to other bases, but those were the ones I actually got to slow down at. Those are east coast, though. I have been to Pendleton a few times and the hospital, but not enough to take a breather at.

Thanks again, Aragon. I may have him stationed at one of these other bases later in the story. How much time would a corpsman spend stateside? Should he be stationed on a ship/foreign base?

Aragon
06-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Well, a buddy of mine who was a Corpsman with the unit I was in was overseas as much as we were. He also saw combat as often as we did. Depends on what sort of Marine unit you want him attached to or if he would be exclusively in a hospital.

RJK
06-25-2008, 11:54 PM
The Navy has hundreds of programs and these programs come and go and change as the Navy's needs change. If the Marines needed Corpmen when your MC was graduating hospital Corpman Class A school (which he would attend immediately following boot camp), it is very concievable that the Navy would have offered a jump to E-4 for the top graduates of advanced corpman training in Pendleton, and they would offer the school to Class A school graduates with no intervening tours between.

There is nothing unbelieveable in your premise. Go with it.

EriRae
06-26-2008, 12:36 AM
The Navy has hundreds of programs and these programs come and go and change as the Navy's needs change. If the Marines needed Corpmen when your MC was graduating hospital Corpman Class A school (which he would attend immediately following boot camp), it is very concievable that the Navy would have offered a jump to E-4 for the top graduates of advanced corpman training in Pendleton, and they would offer the school to Class A school graduates with no intervening tours between.

There is nothing unbelieveable in your premise. Go with it.


Awesome! Thanks!