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As Sailors, we rely on exceptional medical personnel to keep our servicemen and women healthy. As a Hospital Corpsman, you fulfill that critical role by assisting in a wide range of departments and procedures, from dispensing vaccines and analyzing lab samples to aiding in dental operations and assisting in emergency surgeries. You’ll get to try your hand at just about everything while making a huge difference for the Sailors you serve.
What to Expect
Hospital Corpsmen (HM) assist health care professionals in providing medical care to Navy personnel and their families. They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and healthcare providers at medical treatment facilities. Specifically, Hospital Corpsmen may be called upon to:
- Perform emergency medical treatment on SEALs, Seabees, Marines and other military personnel injured in the field, as well as on Sailors aboard ships or aircraft
- Perform emergency dental treatment as well as construct dental crowns and bridges, process dental X-rays and operate X-ray equipment
- Serve as an operating room technician for general and specialized surgery
- Help administer a wide range of preventive care and medications, including immunizations and intravenous fluids
- Conduct physical examinations and assisting in the treatment of diseases and injuries
- Supervise sanitation and safety conditions in the workplace
- Maintain patient treatment records, conduct research and perform clinical tests
- Assist Navy Physicians and Nurses in a variety of medical fields, including, but not limited to: radiology, physical therapy, phlebotomy, dental, surgery, family medicine, pathology, women’s health and more
As a Hospital Corpsman, you have the most diverse range of work environments available in the Navy. Your job will likely take you all over the world—and far out of your comfort zone. As a Hospital Corpsman, you could be assigned to a Navy medical treatment facility, like an on-base hospital or clinic. You could also work on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean or a submarine in the depths of the sea. Wherever you’re assigned, you’ll work alongside other medical professionals to be trained as a skilled first responder, whether your skills are needed bedside or in the field.
Training & Advancement
Upon completion of initial training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you’ll report for specialized training including:
Hospital Corps “A” School (19 weeks) in San Antonio, Texas for training on basic principles and techniques of patient care and first aid procedures.
Field Medical Service School at Camp Lejeune, NC, or Pendleton, CA for specialized training on medical services relating to Seabees and Marine Corps units if you apply and assignments are available.
After you complete your training, you’ll be assigned to a Navy medical treatment facility or an operational Navy or Fleet Marine Force unit. HMs may also go on to receive assignments to ships, submarines or overseas posts.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Advanced technical training, or “C” school, is optional and available to those who qualify after “A” School training is completed. HMs may enroll in advanced training for over 20 different credentials and specializations including:
- Aerospace Physiology & Medical Technician – Assist in the treatment of naval aviators and flight personnel.
- Behavioral Health Technician – Assist psychiatrists and psychologists in providing mental health care for service members and their families.
- Biomedical Equipment Technician – Assemble, maintain, troubleshoot and calibrate medical equipment.
- Cardiovascular Technician – Assist in performing diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures.
- Deep Sea Diving Independent Duty Corpsman – Serve as a Medical Department Representative (MDR) for diving units.
- Dental Hygienist – Provide dental hygiene services such as cleaning equipment, polishing restorations, applying sealants and other tasks under the supervision of a dental officer.
- Dental Laboratory Technician – Perform basic and intermediate prosthetic laboratory procedures such as repairing prostheses or completing dentures.
- Dental Maxillofacial Technician – Assists a maxillofacial prosthodontist in oral/craniofacial prosthetic procedures.
- Dental Technician – Assist with dental duties including preventive dentistry and x-rays.
- Electroneurodiagnostic Technician – Assist Neurologists in performing studies to identify patients with neurological disorders.
- Field Medical Service Technician – Provide medical services to Sailors and Marines in field units worldwide.
- Fleet Marine Force Reconnaissance Corpsman – Provides emergency medical services for Fleet Marine Force Reconnaissance personnel engaged in direct action and reconnaissance operations.
- Fleet Marine Force Reconnaissance Independent Duty Corpsman – Provides medical services for Fleet Marine Forces and Special Operations Forces engaged in direct action, special reconnaissance and unconventional warfare.
- Hemodialysis/Apheresis Technician – Care for patients receiving hemodialysis treatments and related procedures.
- Histopathology Technician – Assist pathologists with examination of tissue for disease.
- Medical Deep Sea Diving Technician – Assist in the prevention and treatment of illnesses associated with deep sea diving and high-pressure conditions.
- Medical Laboratory Technician – Perform and supervise the performance of manual and automated advanced laboratory procedures.
- Nuclear Medicine Technician – Operate and maintain equipment that traces the presence and movement of radioactive isotope in a patient's body.
- Occupational Therapy Assistant – Help Occupational Therapists administer treatment plans for acute and chronic rehabilitation.
- Optician – Produce single vision and multifocal spectacles from prescriptions, and help Optometrists in the treatment of patients with ocular disorders.
- Orthopedic Cast Room Technician – Assist in the application and removal of casts and traction, and assist in minor operative procedures.
- Pharmacy Technician – Dispense prescribed medicines and pharmaceuticals.
- Physical Therapy Technician – Assist physical therapists in administering physical therapy for patients.
- Preventive Medicine Technician – Assist with preventive medicine and occupational health programs such as health and safety inspections and epidemiological investigations.
- Radiation Health Technician – Monitors and analyzes radiation exposure, and administers the personnel dosimetry program.
- Respiratory Therapist – Helps treat patients using nebulization therapy, mechanical ventilation, and similar treatments.
- Search and Rescue Medical Corps – Performs aircrew and emergency medical care functions in support of Search and Rescue, MEDEVAC and CASEVAC missions for Navy and Marine Corps Aviation.
- Submarine Force Independent Duty Corpsman – Submarine Force Independent Duty Corpsmen serve as the Medical Department Representative (MDR) and performs basic patient care aboard submarines and at isolated duty stations.
- Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman – Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsmen serve as the Medical Department Representative (MDR) and perform basic patient care aboard surface ships, with Fleet Marine Force Units and at isolated duty stations.
- Surgical Technologist – Assists the medical officer in carrying out surgical techniques and providing pre- and post-surgical care to patients.
- Urology Technician – Assists medical officer in examination and treatment of urological patients, including operations and X ray procedures.
- Advanced X-Ray Technician – Operates medical X ray, ultrasound and CAT scan equipment.
There’s no better way to begin a successful career in health care than by serving in the medical support division of America’s Navy. Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world, such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Home Health Aide, Anesthesiologist Assistant and more.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the medical field can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.
You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Qualifications & Requirements
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor and a Hospital Corpsman. Those seeking a position as a Hospital Corpsman must be U.S. citizens.
A sincere interest in health care and science is extremely important for this role. You should have good communication, writing and arithmetic skills, be competent with tools and equipment. Important personal traits for this role include the ability to work well with others as part of a team, as well as dependability, trustworthiness and resourcefulness.
In addition to good physical stamina, Hospital Corpsmen should also have normal color perception, vision correctable to 20/20, and good use of your hands. You must meet eligibility requirements for a security clearance. Please note that any illegal involvement with drugs may be disqualifying.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've never served before.
Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Hospital Corpsmen in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For annual training, you may serve anywhere in the world, including locations in the U.S., at bases overseas, or in areas where humanitarian needs are great.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Hospital Corpsmen in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers, prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement, so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience, you will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
Have a question or just want to learn more? We're here to help.
How hard is it to become a Navy hospital corpsman? ›
As of 2022, you must score a 35 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and meet the other Navy corpsman requirements for enlistment: no more than minimal brushes with the law, between 17 and 34 years old and in reasonably good shape.What does a Hospital Corpsman do in the Navy? ›
Hospital Corpsmen provide direct support to Navy and Marine Corps commands, squadrons, battalions and units. Hospital Corpsmen deploy in support of combat operations, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance missions, providing the best care our nation can offer ashore and afloat.What is a Navy corpsman equivalent to? ›
Corpsmen are more comparable to physician assistants. In addition to the emergency care medics provide, corpsmen have the authority to perform common medical duties such as physical examinations, prescribing medications and administering some treatments.What rank is a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy? ›
Navy E-4/5/6 Hospital Corpsman Rating Badges. Criteria: Worn by Hospital Corpsmen (HM) with ranks from Petty Officer 3rd Class (E-4) to Petty Officer 1st Class (E-6). Hospital Corpsmen are medical professionals who provide healthcare to service members and their families.How long is Navy corpsman contract? ›
They have knowledge of operational stress control and mitigation methods and assessment of traumatic brain injury. The HMBHT rating requires a six-year (72 months) enlistment obligation.How long is Navy corpsman training? ›
Hospital Corpsman (HM)
After you attend Boot Camp, you'll report to Fort Sam Houston, TX, to attend “A” school for 14 weeks. Here, you'll develop a working knowledge of basic principles and techniques of patient care and first aid procedures in preparation for your first assignment.
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Working Conditions. Most Navy corpsmen do not see combat up close. Typically, they serve in a hospital or clinical setting, aboard ships or submarines or out in the field during a deployment or exercise.Do corpsman get paid more? ›
A Navy Corpsman in your area makes on average $52,608 per year, or $1,354 (3%) more than the national average annual salary of $51,254.Do Marines respect corpsman? ›
Known as “Docs,” corpsmen are the unsung heroes of the Marine Corps who will go to hell and back to save the lives of their Marines. All Marines love and are very protective of their Docs, who are often the difference between life and death on the battlefield.
Can corpsman call themselves Marines? ›
Navy Hospital Corps service members serve as combat medics for the Marines. After serving with a Marine unit, Navy Hospital Corps service members can test and earn a special pin and the designation of Fleet Marine Force, as well as the honor to call themselves a Marine.Is a Navy corpsman a soldier? ›
Corpsman train as soldiers as well as medical technicians, and serve alongside both Navy and Marine forces. They work in medical settings in the field, in military hospitals and in medical clinics and ships. In many instances, particularly in active combat zones, corpsmen are the first responders for injured soldiers.Do all Navy corpsman see combat? ›
In general, it's unusual for a corpsman to see combat, as they spend most of their service in hospitals or on ships and submarines. This doesn't mean that combat isn't possible; it's the military, after all, and you can still be deployed to perform your duties.Do Navy corpsman carry weapons? ›
They also knew that both Marines and soldiers might be more willing to risk their lives to help save a corpsman or medic. Corpsmen serving with the Marines were trained to use weapons just as well as a Marine and often carried firearms into combat, even if they did not use them during battle.Is a Navy corpsman different from a nurse? ›
Another significant difference in the military environment is that nurses are ranked as officers whereas the corpsman and medics are enlisted military personnel. It is common for nurses and corpsman/medics to work on the same team to deliver care in numerous settings in the military.How often do Navy corpsman get deployed? ›
Extended operations away from home port can last up to 6 to 9 months, and ships typically deploy once every 18-24 months.Do Navy corpsman wear Marine uniforms? ›
Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units may wear Marine Corps uniforms on temporary additional duty. Wear the Marine Corps service and utility uniforms, including insignia, following Marine Corps Uniform Regulations.Where do Navy corpsman get trained? ›
Navy hospital corpsmen attend 14-week “A” school at the Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.How respected are Navy corpsman? ›
Navy Corpsmen are known as “Devil Docs” to the Marines with whom they serve, and according to some Marine combat veterans, they are held in the highest respect.Do you need a degree to be a Navy corpsman? ›
Hospital Corpsman (HM)
To become a Hospital Corpsman you must have U.S. citizenship, a high school diploma or equivalent, normal color perception, vision correctable to 20/20 and meet eligibility requirements for a security clearance.
Do Navy corpsman get EMT certified? ›
Currently, Corpsman graduate from an approved EMT course while attending their “A” school, or initial job-specific training in Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.Can a Navy corpsman be a nurse? ›
This program is for Military Medics/Corpsman who wish to complete a registered nursing program with an associate of science degree. The nursing program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).What are the different types of Navy corpsman? ›
There are 38 corpsman NECs. They can specialize in many areas of medicine, Search and Rescue (SAR), Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC), Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC), Preventive Medicine, Radiology, and Dental, to name a few.What is the corpsman motto? ›
See How Marine Corpsman Are Saving Lives On The Front Lines, And Keeping Marines Alive. By Dan Doyle. The official motto of the United States Navy Hospital Corps is, “Semper Fortis,” Always Strong.Are there female corpsman? ›
There are over 10,646 hospital corpsmen currently employed in the United States. 29.7% of all hospital corpsmen are women, while 70.3% are men.Can a corpsman be a SEAL? ›
IDCs are highly trained Corpsmen that have undergone extensive clinical and combat trauma training. They are assigned to SEAL Teams and Special Boat Teams to work full time in the medical department, treating operators and support staff.What score do you need to be a corpsman? ›
Men and women between 17 and 34 years of age can enlist to serve as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman. They need a minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery combined test score for the hospital corpsman rating of 149. Navy corpsman applicants must have a high school diploma, at minimum.What training do corpsman go through? ›
HOSPITAL CORPSMAN BASIC PROGRAM SCOPE OF INSTRUCTION
Student will receives training in subjects of Medical Terminology, Anatomy & Physiology, Basic Life Support (BLS), Emergency Medical Technician-Basic curricula, as well as various aspects of nursing, and primary patient care.
A competitive applicant should have a GPA of at least 3.6 and an MCAT score between 506 and 509. MCAT scores below 496 are not accepted at USU; however, waivers are possible on a case-by-case basis for the HPSP depending on the specific needs of each Service branch.
Do Hospital Corpsman See Combat? In general, it's unusual for a corpsman to see combat, as they spend most of their service in hospitals or on ships and submarines. This doesn't mean that combat isn't possible; it's the military, after all, and you can still be deployed to perform your duties.
Why do Marines love their corpsman? ›
Known as “Docs,” corpsmen are the unsung heroes of the Marine Corps who will go to hell and back to save the lives of their Marines. All Marines love and are very protective of their Docs, who are often the difference between life and death on the battlefield.What GPA do you need for Navy? ›
GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. GPA may vary with work experience (e.g., students with a low GPA [less than 2.8] who worked their way through college will receive the same consideration as applicants with a GPA of 3.2 or greater who did not work) Work experience of two to three years.How hard is the test to get into the Navy? ›
To join the Navy as an enlisted member, you usually must get a good score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. The maximum ASVAB score is 99. For enlistment into the Navy, you must get a minimum ASVAB score of 31, although in same cases a 26 is permitted.Does Navy pay for medical school? ›
Attend a school of your choice and you may emerge debt-free. With the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), you may receive 100% tuition coverage during medical school, plus a monthly stipend, reimbursement of expenses and up to $20,000 sign-on bonus.Are corpsman like nurses? ›
Another significant difference in the military environment is that nurses are ranked as officers whereas the corpsman and medics are enlisted military personnel. It is common for nurses and corpsman/medics to work on the same team to deliver care in numerous settings in the military.Do Navy corpsman go on ships? ›
Specifically, Hospital Corpsmen may be called upon to: Perform emergency medical treatment on SEALs, Seabees, Marines and other military personnel injured in the field, as well as on Sailors aboard ships or aircraft.Do Navy corpsman go with Marines? ›
And Navy hospital corpsman are also assigned to work alongside with and train with Marine Corps units as well.