Navy Corpsman to be Replaced by Marines (Fake Story)

Posted on: December 21st, 2014 by Will Rodriguez 9 Comments
Photo by CPL Artur Shvartsberg USMC

Correction: Below is my response to a fake story about the Marines getting rid of Navy Corpsman.  The story has been debunked.  It’s a reminder to me to not respond so quickly to “news” until I confirm from multiple sources.


Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus announced the Marines will take over unit level medical responsibilities that Navy Sailors have been fulfilling for over two centuries.  Sailors trained as medical personnel have been fondly and respectfully referred to as Corpsmen.  Future Corpsman will come from the Marines in a new Marine medical specialty.  The change by Marine Commandant General Joseph Dunford is part of an initiative to create a more modern Marine Corps with less logistical and medical reliance on the Navy.

The decision and direction of the Marine Corps is puzzling.  Divorcing itself from relying on the Navy for logistical and medical support will require an increase in size or sacrifice of combat power to achieve and duplication of the Army’s approach to defending the nation further breaking with over 200 years of Marine history and mission.  Likewise, the specific decision to field Marine Corpsman may be possible in the short term but will require a duplication of the Navy’s medical training capability (or continued reliance upon it) to maintain an organic Marine medical capability.

The Marine decision to field Marine Corpsman seems shortsighted and not well considered.  Assistant Marine Commandant General John Paxton said of the issue, “It may be a change to the tradition of our Corps, but change is not always a bad thing. We’re in a modern era of warfare and a transition into garrison. If [we] can train our Marines to provide responsible medical care then we can be ready for war whenever our nation calls upon us. We’re Marines, and we can meet the standards of our beloved Corpsmen if not excel those standards.” A possible reason for this decision is for the Commandant to make a quick impression on the Corps that there is a new boss in town.  The last statement also implies that maybe the Corps has too much confidence in its abilities.  Most importantly, where is the evidence that Navy Corpsmen hamper the Corps’ independence or Marines can provide better medical care?

An even more far reaching result of this a dangerous precedent is providing a path that in the future other branches may use it to encroach on the Corps’ core competency.  A lack of study and investigating what is necessary before assuming a new role is a recipe for bad decisions.

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • steelhorse

    i agree why add marine corpsman when the current setup works fine change for the sake of change is often a mistake if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

  • HM1 (FMF) Ret.

    Thank God, I and many other people got caught by this one.. Sadly I think many changes like this are going to be made as we transition into a “Garrison” force.. This one was a real knee slapper though, I would love to meet the prankster face to face..

  • steelhorse

    No blood no foul I’m glad it’s a fake

  • YankeePapa

    …I am a rabid Marine (no other kind out there) when it comes to my beloved Corps.  But I would never want Marine Doctors or Chaplains or “medic” types.  Legally the Marine Corps has never been part of the Navy (in the 1950s public law verified this because out of the blue the Navy’s CNO suddenly decided that the Corps was “…just another part… like Yards and Docks…” (Unlike the Corps, Yards and Docks does not have direct access to SECNAV) 

    …But the Marine Corps has a special relationship with the Navy that is essential to it never becoming (at least permanently) a “Second land army…”  In WW2 and Korea and Vietnam, despite critical manpower shortages the Marine Corps continued to provide ships detachments… Suddenly by the dawn of the GWOT traditional Marine detachments were gone… and even the Marine guards at the Naval Academy.
    …The story certainly had fake written all over it… last Commandant thought that he had problems over sleeves being rolled up… messing with our Navy Corpsmen (those who deploy in the field with Marines *are* Marines so far as generations of bone dumb grunts are concerned…) 
    …Lot of trash stories out there, like POTUS ignoring the laws that he doesn’t like and legislating without Congress… (Those are fake stories… aren’t they… …aren’t they?)

  • Txazz

    YankeePapa  aren’t they?  
    ha ha ha ha ah

  • Michael_mike

    YankeePapa A totally different kind of trash. The speech (Josh Earnest) was real and I don’t see a single reason to believe it was done behind POTUS’s back. A silly political lie yielding anything but good. I am sure that he would never be president without audacity but this is dump, especially when every single person know it’s a bluff and even more because it’s against the very fundamental of democracy.

    A former president said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” That turning point was well crossed with that red line in Syria.

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  • johhsonn
  • johhsonn

    ok thanks