This Is What You Get When You Combine A Sailor, A Doctor, And A Marine.

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There is no relationship like that between Marines and their “Docs.” The bond that forms between them, especially in war, goes beyond words. Words are inadequate for telling the full story, this video will go a long way toward explaining the depth of their commitment toward one another, and sense of brotherhood that forms between them.

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Navy Hospital Corpsmen are a different breed. Their purpose and meaning, their entire mission is tied up in the idea of saving lives. Their whole identity is oriented toward healing. But when they are given orders to service with Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) they become Marines as well. This unique relationship has a long and storied history.

Their unique brotherhood is forged under fire. Their dependence on one another is total and complete. It is said that a corpsman would run into hell to save one of his Marines. That has been proven many times. But the opposite is true too. Marines will do whatever is necessary to hold the hell hounds at bay in order to protect their “Doc” as they attend to one of their own. No one loves Marines more deeply and more purposefully than a Navy FMF Corpsman. The reverse is true as well. No one loves a Corpsman like his Marine brothers.

Corpsman are Navy personnel. But those lucky few who become FMF Corpsmen are taken in by their Marines as a fellow Marine.

As a former FMF Corpsman who served with Bravo Co., 3rd Recon Bn., 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in 1968, I can tell you that once you've gone Marine you can never go back. Though I joined the Navy, my identity is tied up completely with my Marine Corps brothers and always will be.

Navy Corpsman are the most highly decorated rating in the Navy. Over their history they have earned 22 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses, 946 Silver Stars, and 1,582 Bronze Stars. These awards were earned by Corpsmen while serving aboard ships, especially in WWII, but many more have been earned by FMF Corpsmen serving with their Marine Corps brothers. Since their inception, 2,012 Hospital Corpsmen have been killed in action (KIA). The majority of those KIAs happened during two wars, WWII (1,170) and Vietnam (639). Their actions on behalf of others are a valued and honored part of both Navy and Marine Corps history.


The Veterans Site wishes to offer its respect and thanks toward all those men and women who presently serve, or who have served as Corpsman on Navy ships, and with FMF forces. Your commitment to honor, duty and courage are recognized and respected by both your Navy and your Marine Corps brothers and sisters.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.