You Can Be A Navy Field Corpsman and Get Your Medical Training

Many people are confused regarding the military medic program for the US Marine Corps and the US Navy. The Marines and the Navy Corpsman up in training corpsmen for the Marine Force Fleet. Candidates for Marine Fleet Corpsman have to attend a 7 week course that is much like Marine Boot camp in makeup at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. The top priority for a FMSS corpsman is to learn to save Marine Corps lives, but they have to be accepted by the unit in which they work.


For a Navy Corpsman to be effective in a Marine Corps unit he has to be someone that the other Marines know and trust. The standard to become Corpsman in the Marine Corps is a little confusing, as the Marine’s use Navy Corpsmen for their missions. But the Navy Corpsman serving in a Marine Unit is for all intents and purposes a Marine, and is treated like a Marine by other Marines and by everyone whom they have contact with. For a Corpsman to be effective he has to earn the right to be regarded as a fellow Marine, and that can be an eye opening experience to many Navy Corpsmen unfamiliar with Marine Corps ways. Much of this need to be a Marine is not understood by those who have not experienced it, but it is vital to the success and cohesiveness of the unit.

The Marines have a saying, “Every Marine is a Rifleman,” and that extends to Navy Corpsmen serving in Marine Units, corpsmen have to learn to carry a rifle and how to use it as well. He has to be able to lay down cover fire, dig a hole, or do whatever other Marines in his unit are doing toward accomplishing the mission. The FMSS field school teaches the tactics, methods and procedures it takes to be a Marine Corpsman in the field.

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They learn to look like Marines, act like and function just as other Marine Corps personnel function, despite in reality being Navy Corpsmen assigned to a Marine Corps Unit. Marines need qualified medical personnel on the battlefield and that’s why the Field Medical Service School exists.orpavy




40 Responses to “You Can Be A Navy Field Corpsman and Get Your Medical Training”

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military dot image heather pope    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am interested in being a corpsman but dont have all the information to make the decision now. If someone could email me and help find a recruiter in my area.

military dot image Paul Smith    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

It is a “SPECIAL” Honor and Privilege to serve as an FMF Corpsman. I feel very Honored to be a Fleet Marine Corpsman.

military dot image teresa lasko    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

my son is interested in signing up w/the navy to become a corpsman,but cannot seem to locate anyone who will be stright forward about how /and when he could get started.anyone w/some help?

military dot image Joe Dougherty    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I have been a paramedic for 4 years, i am very interested in becoming a corpsman, but i would like to be a Marine Fleet Corpsman, I was just wondering how long the schools would be start to finish? I am currently a career fireman 24 Y/O and dont know if my job would allow me to go reserve?

military dot image Ron    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

as a ex navy corpsman , I served 2 yr, at Lejune with 2 marine div, was a honor I never will forget.
Semper Fi Marine

military dot image manny    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

i want to be a navy corpsman ,then try out for the seal is that possible?

military dot image Britt    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am curious how it would work for a prior service Marine that wanted to be a Corpsman. Does anyone know how that would work? I understand join the Navy but whats the next step?

military dot image Stewart Davis    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I was a Corpsman with the Corp 68-70 in Nam. It is something you never forget and something that makes you different from everyone else. It was worth the experience both good and bad. Khe Sanh ’68

military dot image Christian    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Im 14 years old and currently wanting to join the Navy as a Field Corpsman Does anyone have any advice for what i can do to prepare myself?

military dot image April    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Can Women do this? im enlisting in the Navy and want to be a “Doc” more than anything.

military dot image Doc    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Yes a woman can be a corpsman, but you will not be able to do what the male corpsman does. Women are not allowed in the infantry, or many of the marine units. i know many female corpsmen that have been in the Navy for over 6 years and never deployed. If you are a male, and you sign up to be a corpsman, there is about a 95% chance you will go FMF (Fleet Marine Force). if you ask for it, it’s almost guaranteed. that’s what i did. Hope this helps some of you. feel free to email me questions that might be unanswered. [email protected]

military dot image Leo    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Can a FMF Corpsman request to be sent to BUD/S to become a seal?

military dot image Blake    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I tried to get into the Marines, but didn’t qualify because I’m 28yrs old. However, I talked to a Navy Recruiter today, and I want to be a Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsman. Semper Fi. I also want to get my college degree while I’m in & serve as an officer, ultimately I want to be a Navy Dental Officer. God Bless America!

military dot image Doc    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Yes, an FMF Doc can request to go to BUDS, but why bother going through corps school first of all, once/if you complete BUDS, you will no longer be a corpsman, and you will go through the best medical training the military has to offer.

28 years old is not a disqualifier for the Marine Corps. Also, Semper Fi is the marines saying, i wouldn’t recommend saying it until/if you go through Corpsman A school, then FMTB, and then to a Marine Unit. We do a lot to earn the respect of the Marines. Motivation is key. best way to be a dental officer is serve your initial contract, get out and us the post 911 GI Bill, although it wont cover all 9 plus years of school. Stay reserve while in school.
Semper Fi.

military dot image Sarah E.    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Getting ready to convince my mom to sign the papers to join up and will go into the Hospital Corpsman field and was wondering what it’s like to be a corpsman and how hard it is to become an independent corpsman? Thanks

military dot image nate    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

hey guys im nathan im was wondering how longe it takes to be a field corpsman im 21 and want to join the navy but want to know how many years it will be untill i an be a field corpsman

military dot image ron grady    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

i was an FMF corpsman 63′-64′, serving with HMM 262- New River dispensary and Med Cruise. A rewarding experience for sure! Suturing my specialty.Having been an FMF corpsman is something I will always look back on with pride and honor…At that time Feild Medical School was held at Camp Geiger, probably not there now…

military dot image Doc    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Ooh Rah Ron, yep it sure is at camp geiger, and one in san diego. Nate, 2 months at boot camp, possibly a month wait for corps school, the corps school is about 4 months, then Field med is 2 months. there might be a wait in between, mine was 3-4 months. Less than a year and you will be an 8404 corpsman. We are not called Field corpsman by the way, and the pic above is of army guys.???
after field med, your technical term is Field Medical Technician…..we just go by greenside corpsman, FMF, 8404, Doc. i started boot camp at 24, so you have plenty of time. i’m 29 now, and still going strong.

military dot image drew    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey guys I want to be a marine more than anything, but they don’t have any medics of their own so I was wondering what the educational requirements are for FMF medics. Do I have to serve time as a hospital corpsman? and what would I have to score on the asvab in order to be concidered for this job? thanks guys and thank you for anyone who’s served our country.

military dot image SMH    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

my name is sean hensley i am in the navy and if anyone has ANY questions about feild corpsman or any other questions on the process of joining the navy you are more then welcome to ask becuase i never had anybody to answer alot of my questions straight forward so please hit me up and i hope i can help.

military dot image Tyrone    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hello SMH,

As a recent college graduate interested in the medical field, I would like to join the Navy Corpsman unit and am unsure of how to go about doing this. What are the requirements for this position? What training is required? Any help in this would be greatly appreciated!


military dot image S.Lopez    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey everyone,
I am interesting in becoming a Corpsman, but I was wondering… Since my boyfriend is already in the Marine Corps would it come between us in anyway? I know if we were in the marines together we’d be separated, is this the same case? And also is there a such thing as a corpsman for the Navy Reserves? Thanks. This will help alot with my decision. :)

military dot image Michelle    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I want to be a female corpsman, and my boyfriend is also in the Marine Corps. If him and I were to get married, would we be able to be stationed or even deployed together?

military dot image Leon Peterson    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Being a Corpsman was an honor serving with fellow Corpsmen and Marines is something you will never forget and staying contact after all these years still a special event. @t Stewart Davis glad you made it back. Anyone thinking of becoming a Corpsman, the training is superb and you will be a member of special group of people. Check the history of the Corpsmen, it may make it easier to decide. Semper Fi 68-73

military dot image Pfc. Fitch    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I just got out of my first tour and am extremely glad for the corpsman that saved my life! HOOAH and Sepmer-Fi

military dot image Jacob Jackson    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m 14 and A Us Navy Sea Cadet. I want to be a Corpsman when i enlist. I was wondering if active duty corpsman and others could give me some help on how to be prepared to achieve this goal of mine (physically, mentally etc.) If you could contact me at Usnscc Jackson.

military dot image mary cash    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

hello my name is mary am interested in being a corpsman but need more information to make the right decision please help email if possible

military dot image ted rutkowski    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

in 1968 i was the corpsman in a recon team with bravo co.3rd recon bn.3rd this day me and my teammates keep in touch. we talk or e-mail at least once a month and get together at least once a year.being a FMF corpsman is a unique and rewarding experence.the respect i earned from my teammates is something i will cherish all my life.semper fi.doc ski P.S.Stewart Davis.maybe i’ll see you at the khe sanh reunion in D.C.this year

military dot image Cody S.    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I go to MEPS in a few weeks, I’m 18 and a male, whenever I get around to picking my rate, can I just say “hey I’d like to be a navy field medic?” or is the hospital corpsman a SO like SWCC and SEALs where I have to compete and qualify at the top?

military dot image Steve LeVier    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

If I understand you correctly you will start your Navy training in a couple weeks. While you are in boot camp you get basic military training, learn about the Navy, and will be tested to see what your strengths are and you learn about the different occupations that are needed to run a navy. They will give you whatever you want as long as they have openings.
Corpsman training is basic training to work in a hospital or on a ship. Then you need time to get experience. After that you if you are chosen you get special training to fit in with the Marines. This is taught by marines. It is not a boot camp and they treat you well as long as you give your best. You will probably spend part of your time in the field with a platoon of marines, and part at a battalion aid station or hospital. Attending a wounded marines wounds on the battle field can be dangerous.

military dot image Size Genetics Penis Extender    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I have learn some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you place to make this sort of great informative site.

military dot image Joey    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am a paramedic from SA and quieafild in 1994 (yes i am that old)Even since I quieafild there have been huge changes to equipment and techniques that we use today.We can get to the patients much faster with more modern vehicles, gps’s, radio and sell communication and even internet in the sense that we can relay info via Laptops to Control centers or ER’s, get quick access to poison related chemicals and treatment recommended.Then with equipment advancement we can take equipment to the patient that was not available years ago. (For example, 3, 5, 10 & 12 lead ECG machines for quick Cardio evaluation and possible treatment) eg. Pasing of patients.We also have better and faster ways to administer fluids to shocked patients via IO (Intraosseous) ways besides the usual IV way, and better airway adjuncts to assist ventilation and Oxygen administration.We have better medications and drugs to start treatment in the field and not wait for treatment to start at the hospital.Not all equipment is just for medical personnel to use but AED (Automated External Defibrillators) can be used by anyone trained to do so increasing Heart Arrest patients survival.Hope it helped a bit.Good luck.References :

military dot image Salvatore DeMaria    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

My son is graduating from boot camp on February 8 and is going to be a corpsman. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am.

military dot image Luis    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

For anyone interested in becoming a FMF Corpsman: 1. Be in the best possible shape you can achieve. 2. Dedicate 6mo to a year and acquire as much Medical
knowledge as you can afford to pay for, such as EMT-B, CPR/1st aid/AED,
ATLS, PHTLS, ACLS, ALS, Down load the HM3/2 online, Down load FMSS Guide,
NAVYMANMED Dept,etc. Before joining up! Practice doing Force Marches with
a Large old school ruck-sack: Start off at 50lbs. hump that for 2 weeks
as quickly as possible at a steady pace for 5 to 10 miles on the worst possible terrain containing hills, on the beach in soft sand , stop every mile along the way and pt thrash ( Pushups, flutter kicks, neck drills, 8 count body builders, etc, )but 1st. swim 1000 meters or yards, run 3 miles
do 5-20 proper pullups, 100 situps, then do the Hump!! When you are through
with all this, study medical knowledge for 1-4 hours!!

Read medical dictionaries, study the Air Force PJ’s watch their national Geographic show and take notes on what medical procedures you see them doing, and research them!! Acquire an US Army Special Forces medical hand book ( they are becoming really hard to come-by lately ) Barnes and nobles
and Amazon have really great Spec ops medical books, go onto youtube and look up Army 68W, Air Force PJ’s. In short: You must be part Ranger
part Doctor, part Navy Seal, a bit of Delta for that extra moto!!

To earn the respect and trust of the Marines you will be with takes a lot of hard work!! They will test you, you will be challenged, you will be pushed in many different ways, the better you prepare before going into the Navy the better off you will be. Run, swim, swim with fins, get used to being cold wet and sleep deprived, get used to being on constant alert
while the Marines are enjoying down time in the field or during an op
you cannot drop your guard or totally relax!! You are doing one of a few
things when on duty or in the field or deployed:
1. Doing pt
2. Studying
3. Actively engaged in your job
4. Rack ops ( sleeping with one open )
5. Or a combo of the aforementioned!!

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to come into the Navy with as much medical training and knowledge as possible, hang out with the Marine recruiters and have them teach you as much as they are willing, focus on Weapons, and infantry intel, as them about Floats ( MEU Deployments, and shipboard life ), be creative and do the Recon on everything A-Z. Initially you will be an QUAD ZERO ( No specific NEC )
your goal should be to obtain NEC 8404 FMF Corpsman, or 8404 Recon corpsman
or Dive med tech which will qualify you as a Navy 2nd class Diver, or go Seal Teams!!

Look up North Carolina FMSS videos on youtube, this will give you an idea of what to expect!! “Train for the worst possible scenario, hope for the best”
Some sites to help you: ( former Navy Corpsman )

The stronger you are physically, the easier it will be for you.
The more medical training you have before joining up the easier your job will be therefor while the other guys who did not prep will suffer while you can focus on having a good time! With that said, help your fellow
Corpsman always watch their six, never be arrogant or over-confident
constantly seek improvement, learn all you can from the Marines they love to share their knowledge, because the more you know about their training and skills the more they will respect you and cooperate with you!!
Go to all the schools the Marines will allow you, such as Water survival
instructor course, HUMMVEE school, etc. Be a master of master of:
Map reading/land nav, NBC/CBR, try to sit in all the NCO meetings especially those that have to do with prepping for a field op, be in the advance party when going to the field that way you can learn how the Marines set up camp, establish latrines, and hot chow eating areas, etc.
Never be the 1st one on line in the field for hot chow, you should be one of the last, this shows them that you are not seeking special treatment or privileges, and that you hard and disciplined enough to put your Marines well being and moral before your own!! Your actions speak louder than your words, “speak little listen much” never be a complainer or a brown noser!!

Whatever evolution or training the Marines do, you should participate and learn, if they are cold,wet hungry and tired so shall you be, unless you punk out!! During a Force march, no matter how many miles, you need to run up and down the line and make sure your Marines and fellow Corpsman are good to go, the Marines see this and they will forget how much miserable pain that they are in because they know Doc is hardcore enough to suffer more and endure much more pain to ensure his Marines are safe!!
Hooya!! There is more but I feel this should cover enough for now!!

HM3/FMF Semper Hooya!!

military dot image Rog    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I agree with the previous writers comments. Having always been interested in medicine, I enlisted in the Navy in 1966 at age 17 with my first choice being a corpsmen which was granted. After 12 wks. of basic training, 6 months of corp school with intensive medical training; and 7 wks. of FMF training I was assigned to the Naval hospital in Jacksonville,FL. where most of the 9 months there, I volunteered for the 2300 to 0700 hr. night duty on various wards which usually gave me a minimum of 4 hrs. of study to be the best I could be. This does not mean I didn’t stand day duty, but did study in the barracks. The Navy requires testing for rate advancement and I advanced in rate rapidly. Please know,I am not patting myself on the back. It is just a fact that with intensive study you also will advance in rate sooner than those that do not. During deployment w/the Marines, I was the lead corpsman with 15 others working for me. Unfortunatally, there were two so called corpsman I would not allow in the field with the Marines since I felt they may do more harm than than good, and incapable of saving a man’s life. How they scored high enough to enter corps school is beyond me. Completing FMF school and knowing I would most likly be permanantly deployed with the Marines it was the best decision I could have made. The previous writer also made the statement of getting into the best physical shape possible, and I agree. Completing water safety instructor during high school,I competed on swim teams during boot camp,corps school and at the Naval hospital as well as other physical activity. Soon after being deployed with the Marines,1500 of us went to the Carribean to play war games on Guantanimo Bay, a Puerto Rican island, and jungle warfare school in Panama to name a few prior to being sent into harms way. Although not required, I did any and everything the Marines did in order to be the best I could be. Fortunataly, I gained the respect of the Marines by doing everything they did as well as conducting sick bay each morning. In the event you wish to become a corpsmen and especially a FMF corpsman, I highly suggest you do the same. Study to be the best and be in fantastic physical condition as you will need both. It was an honor and pleasure to serve with the Marines and have them call me DOC. Semper Fi.

military dot image Roger Bailey    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

As an ex-FMF Corpsman, I am more than willing to answer questions anyone may have concerning becoming a Navy Corpsman as well as becoming a FMF Corpsman. You may e-mail questions to me at this address: [email protected]. It was an honor and pleasure to serve OUR great nation with the Navy & Marines, as well as being allowed to wear both uniforms. Semper FI.

military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey A Shout Out to Roger for being available! Thanks!!

military dot image MIke    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

My son is currently in the DEP for Navy Corpsman. He is scheduled for boot camp at the end of June 2016. What advice would you give him/me/my wife to be better prepared for new careee

military dot image j    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Seek Jesus and HE will solve all of your problems, nothing else will. God Bless.

military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Couldn’t agree with you more!

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