Friday, November 3, 2017


The Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Enlisted Warfare Specialist Device is a qualification insignia of the United States Navy earned by Navy enlisted members assigned to the Fleet Marine Force of the U.S. Marine Corps who have successfully completed the necessary requirements of the Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist (EFMFWS) Program per OPNAV Instruction 1414.4B. This involves serving one year with a Marine Corps Unit (two years for reserves), passing the Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT), a written test, demonstrating skills used in service with the Marines such as weapon breakdown and familiarization, land navigation, combat communications and an oral examination by senior enlisted sailors who are FMF qualified. The Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist designation is most commonly awarded to the Hospital Corpsman (HM) and Religious Programs Specialist (RP) ratings, although it is also awarded to other sailors who support Marine Corps Commands.

An enlisted person who has qualified as a EFMFWS may place the designator (FMF) after his/rate and rating; for example, HM2 Radabaugh, having qualified for his FMF pin, is identified as HM2(FMF) Radabaugh.

Although this is a qualification is for Navy enlisted personnel, it is unique in that only Commanding Generals or Commanding Officers of qualifying U.S. Marine Corps commands, Division, Group, or Wing; can approve awarding of the designation.

The insignia is a silver metal device depicting the eagle, globe and anchor atop two crossed rifles on a background of ocean swells breaking on a sandy beach. (Source)
The Marines moved forward, passing first through a ravine then moving into open fields beyond, the sergeants were doing their best to keep the men from clumping up and keep them moving forward towards the German lines. As they moved into the open, German machine gun fire began to lash the skirmish line.

Over the stuttering chatter of the Maxim guns, the hiss of bullets tearing through the air, the cry went up...

While they make up only about 3 percent of Navy personnel, the all-enlisted Hospital Corpsman rating is the most decorated in the service over the years, with 23 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses, 31 Distinguished Service Medals, 946 Silver Stars and 1,582 Bronze Stars, with combat "V" for valor. At least 13 Corpsmen have been killed in Afghanistan, and 29 in the Iraq war. (Source)
In the Civil War, in the Spanish-American War, from the mists of the Argonne Forest in World War I, to the heat-drenched islands of the Pacific, to the frozen Hell of the Chosin Reservoir, through the jungles and highlands of Vietnam, to the latter day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps has been there. Fighting and dying, upholding the highest traditions of that premier fighting force.

What many people don't know, is that alongside those Marines there are sailors. Not to land them on the beaches, not to provide supplies and air support (though the Navy does that too), these sailors are slogging through the same conditions as the Marine riflemen in their care. The men who will do their best, often desperately, often at the cost of their own lives, to keep wounded Marines alive.

The Navy's Hospital Corpsmen, "Doc" to the Marines if he/she is a good one, share the same chow, the same uniforms, and the same danger as the Marines they support.

At least twenty ships have been named in honor of corpsmen:
  • USS Benfold (DDG-65)
  • USS Caron (DD-970)
  • USS De Wert (FFG-45)
  • USS Durant (DER-389)
  • USS Frament (APD-77)
  • USS Halyburton (FFG-40)
  • USS Francis Hammond (FF-1067)
  • USS Jobb (DE-707)
  • USS Daniel A. Joy (DE-585)
  • USS Lester (DE-1022)
  • USS Liddle (DE-206)
  • USS Litchfield (AG-95)
  • USS Thaddeus Parker (DE-369)
  • USS David R. Ray (DD-971)
  • USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875)
  • USS Valdez (FF-1096)
  • USS Walter C. Wann (DE-412)
  • USS Jack Williams (FFG-24)
  • USS John Willis (DE-1027)
  • USS Don O. Woods (APD-118)
2,012 Navy enlisted medical personnel have been killed in action since 1861 -
  • American Civil War (1861–1865), 6
  • Spanish–American War (1898), 3
  • World War I (1917–1918), 20
  • Nicaragua (1932), 1
  • World War II (1941–1945), 1,170
  • Korean War (1950–1953), 109
  • Dominican Republic (1965), 1
  • Vietnam War (1962–1975), 639
  • Beirut, (1983), 15
  • Gulf War (1990–1991), 0
  • Afghanistan (2001–14), 13
  • Iraq War (2003–2010), 29
Two hospital corpsmen assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, treat a Marine wounded in Afghanistan in 2009.
The corpsman on the right would later be awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".

Looking for people you can rely on, need a hero?

Look no further.


For my buddy Dylan, and all the men and women he served with.


  1. And let's not forget our good friend Shaun, who's been around the corpsman block a time or two.

  2. The unofficial motto of the Marine Corps is "Every man a rifleman." We take that seriously and every Marine is required to have the basic skills of an infantryman. However, the Marine Corps does not have a medical corps, or a chaplain corps. They are provided be the Navy and are attached to Marine units as may be required. Generally, doctors and chaplains tend to be found at the battalion and above levels and are not a continuous presence at the fire team, squad, platoon, or even company levels. But corpsmen are found wherever Marines are in contact. They are an integral part of every combat operation, and are well loved by "their" Marines. The Doc shares everything the Marines do, and in almost all cases becomes a fully integrated part of the unit. Corpsmen show a fierce love for their Marines, and it is fully reciprocated. They daily risk their lives to take are of Marines, and the Marines are fiercely protective of their docs. Every corpsman who had earned the FMF badge was my brother.

    1. My buddy Dylan served most of his career with the Marines.

  3. AND let us not forget that Navy combat swimmers go in first to recon the beach, make sure that the bedding will support LST's and such, disarm or demo mines and make the beach safe for Marines to land on... you're welcome.

    1. True.

      But they weren't the topic of today's post.

  4. Thank you for giving me more information on these fine Americans. I was aware that they served with the Marines, but I did not know all of the information that you provided.

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Neither did I until I started looking into the topic.

      Fine Americans, aye!

  5. That final image, wow. Encompasses everything you put in your post in one, simple picture. Just, wow. Dusty in here, again...

    1. Yes it is a great painting. Here is a drawing that calls to me as well. Yes, the link is to Etsy. This is not a sales pitch. If I had another source, I would use it. No, Michael Monsoor was not a medic. I'm posting this in the spirit of honoring all those who gave their lives to save their brothers in arms. And yes, I will admit to being a proud dad. The artist is my oldest son. drawing of people Monsoor&ref=sr_gallery_1

    2. Heroes are always welcome here.

      Your son has talent!

  6. A good friend tells the tale of his wanting to avoid the draft and potential combat duties by joining the Navy Reserves. He trained to be a Corpsman. Guess where he wound up when he was called up.

    1. Started with a "V" and was not Vermont nor Virginia?

      Just a guess.

  7. A little more information
    To qualify as an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) so they can serve independent of an MD on board a ship, HMs have to train with the marines.
    GS's son was an HM until he retired with 20 years.
    He served in the USS DeWert and was lead Corpsman.

  8. I definitely like the tradition of naming ships after people who deserve it.

    1. Many of our destroyers are named after heroes, both Navy and Marine, though not all.

      Refreshing innit?

  9. When you care enough to send the best, send the doc.

    Srsly, after their tour with a regiment you have to spend a good bit of time training them back up to using multisyllabic words and force them to eschew the "DRINK WATER NOW NOW NOW!!!!". They get acclimated, you see. It just takes a few weeks to get them back into the mindset of dealing with people who aren't all the way crazy.

    1. WALTER C WANN was at Samar, as part of the CORTDIV riding herd on TAFFY TWO. She was also at Seeadler harbor, when MOUNT HOOD blew up. She lived up to her name.

      HMs are Extremely Badger Approved.


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