HA Hartwig, Matthew
US Navy Corpsman
The US Navy Corpsman has come a long way since the indoctrination of the medical field in the Navy. Along with the advancement of medicine, the roles of the Corpsman also advanced. Corpsman now play one of the most important roles in the Navy, as they go anywhere and everywhere the Navy goes. Whether it is sailing across the seven seas on any of the various ships or submarines or its on land working in our hospitals and clinics. Even going distant lands such as Afghanistan or Iraq fighting along side with Marines or Seabees, answering the call of fallen fighters as they yell for there Corpsman to come and help them up. Corpsman have been around to see every war since the early years of America, and will continue to aid Sailors and Marines alike for many years to come.
The origin of the Corpsman is dated back to 1775 where Article 16 of Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America stated “A convenient place shall be set apart for sick or hurt men, to be removed with their hammocks and bedding when the surgeon shall advise the same to be necessary: and some of the crew shall be appointed to attend to and serve them and to keep the place clean. The cooper shall make buckets with covers and cradles if necessary for their use.” Originally a medical section of the ship would consist of two or three men. A surgeon, who was a doctor, a Surgeons mate, who usually was a doctor as well, and most times the third role was filled by an enlisted man. The surgeons mate roles are now usually fulfilled by senior enlisted Corpsman where as the enlisted mans job role is what a junior enlisted mans job is today, aiding Doctors in the recovery of the ill. One of the many duties of the enlisted personnel was to bring the daily ration of porridge or “loblolly” as it was also called. The nickname “Loblolly Boy” was given to these men. It was such a wide used nickname that in 1799 Congress approved an...
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