I have done a couple of these before but was asked by a couple of people to do another. Feel free to ask me whatever. Pic of me in Afghanistan:http://imgur.com/RHAu0 Pic of me with my favorite Afghan:http://imgur.com/Hzkt1 Folks: Thanks for the awesome time thus far. Need to run some errands but I'll check back in later to answer what I can Edit: I am back and sifting my way through the questions you guys left me. 1450 CST Edit again: Thanks for the questions guys, it has been fun. I am now working to get enough money to go to New Zealand by August 19 to pay my respects to Cpl Grant (mentioned below) and will update if that happens. Best Wishes!

Comments: 1764 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

DatsNos446 karma

Do people really yell "MEDIIIIIIIIIIC!?" and do you find your job more and more pointless given the ability to hide behind some crates until the blood in their eyes goes away and their wounds heal themselves?

cookie-cutter398 karma

Yes they do. And the trouble with the hide and recharge is that all too often they are under waaaay too much stress to do it effectively.

DatsNos137 karma

But seriously, though, good deal doing what you're doing. We assume that everyone on here is young, white, and male, but are you male or female? I've always thought it was hilarious that video games and such teach us how the medics are the softies. What a load of shit. CoD doesn't teach you how to hold a guy's skull fragment to his head after a mortar attack while he seizes up - all while not knowing if you'll be shot at or mortared yourself.

cookie-cutter223 karma

I am a 22 year old, white, male from a middle-middle class background and a public school education.

apopheniac1989255 karma

Jesus, you're younger than me! I always feel weird when I hear war stories from people in my age group while I sit on ass complaining because the internet is slow and the air conditioning sucks.

cookie-cutter579 karma

I did it so you didn't have to. Enjoy the internet complaining with my blessings

EllaMonroe106 karma

You are a hero and an angel!

cookie-cutter274 karma

Eh, I'm a dude and an angle at the very most

DatsNos48 karma

I'm going to bed, but I would love to hear a story or two. What was your wake up call? When you truly realized that this job, no matter what you learned or dealt with before, wasn't a fucking game? And what are your thoughts on the way the media "cleans up" war to virtually eliminate any sign of blood and gore?

cookie-cutter99 karma

I had a really serious nature about it before I got in but that was because I took everything too seriously at that time. I think that American;s should be more exposed to things in the news but I don't believe the American people really WANTS to see that.

Ruckus35397 karma

Do you know if it is possible to dig through medical records to find the Army medical staff that medevaced me on a certain date? I served as a Marine grunt in Iraq and don't know what kind of record keeping Army medical staff would keep. All I know is that an Army medical unit medevaced me in a Blackhawk on Oct 23, 2006 outside of Saqlawiyah, Iraq, right on the bank of the Euphrates. I was comatose and have always wanted to thank them for saving my life. Same with the med staff that performed emergency surgery for me in Balad.

cookie-cutter236 karma

Oh man, that'd be one helluva undertaking. I honestly wouldn't know what to do beyond check into your service jacket and find the Unit/provider who treated you.

Endulos238 karma

Were the Afghans generally friendly with you?

*Edit: typo

cookie-cutter363 karma

About 75% I encountered were. The rest just mostly didn't pay any mind but there were a handful (not the ones shooting at us) that would get really aggitated when we were around. Most were just content to live and let live though. We made it our business to not start fights

Albodan71 karma

Always wondered, if marines are in the middle of an encounter and a civilian get shot in the crossfire or a stray bullet what happens? Does anyone help at the moment or after the fight dies down?

cookie-cutter135 karma

Normally we try to gain control of the battlespace first

srwim185 karma

Thanks for patching me up on far too many occasions, you magnificent 68W, you.

Notable Mentions:

  • Ingrown toenail (sucked most)
  • Eye wound (from an explosion)
  • 2x Knife wounds (1 friendly ಠ_ಠ, fucking blue falcon)

-21B (Combat Engineer)

cookie-cutter170 karma

That knife fight from a friendly is one I actually have seen as well

srwim126 karma

Ah, good times. That one was a bayonet training accident. The platoon tard had a muzzle awareness fail, and my leg got to play slicey stabby!

cookie-cutter69 karma

There's always one

enjoi702160 karma

What was the most intense situation you encountered?

cookie-cutter332 karma

August 19, 2011 I was involved in the bombing and firefight at the British Council in Kabul, Afghanistan. I was the only medical asset on scene and as such was moving all over the battle space. I treated 7 people that day for serious injuries, 6 Afghan police/soldiers and 1 New Zealand soldier. the 6 Afghans made it but the New Zealander did not unfortunately. Link to story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14585563

novaya3186 karma

Whoa, I remember the Prime Minister announcing that guy's death here on TV. Corporal Grant, if I remember correctly. From what the news told us there wasn't much which could've been done for him regardless, but thanks for being there and doing your best.

cookie-cutter448 karma

Yeah, his injury was fatal regardless. Cpl. Doug Grant. Father of 2 and husband to Tina

DierdraVaal359 karma

Cpl. Doug Grant. Father of 2 and husband to Tina

Ouch. Right in the feelings. :/

cookie-cutter289 karma

Tell me about it.

TheLeapIsALie94 karma

Do you remember every soldier who died in your care? If so.... I can't imagine your pain

cookie-cutter257 karma

Not by name but yeah and it's not a burden really. I have always done everything I could to preserve life, limb and eyesight

woorkewoorke138 karma

Those men were all really lucky you were there to help. Hats off to you sir!

cookie-cutter138 karma

Thanks very much

Mandatum108 karma

Our entire country heard that story. It was in the news for a good week.

Thank you.

cookie-cutter193 karma

It was a huge loss that I absolutely respect and value. He seemed a good man and telling his team what happened was probably the hardest thing I've done in my military career

Mandatum172 karma

If you ever decide to visit New Zealand - you've got a beer waiting for you. Hell, you've probably got 4 million beers waiting for you.

cookie-cutter205 karma

I am actively saving money to get there actually.

ComedicSans134 karma

Count me in as another beer-in-waiting.

cookie-cutter221 karma

You Kiwis are friendly folk

ck_nz52 karma

Im also in on the beer thing. With a bunch of others who will buy beers for you anytime.

cookie-cutter229 karma

I'm gonna need a bigger liver

SoullessDayWalker140 karma

Fellow medic here (Soldier Medic, Warrior Spirit, all that hooah bullshit)... I'm NG heading to Afghanistan next summer, I was in Iraq in 2007-2008. Tell me about your toys. What's awesome, what's a waste of space in the bag. What bag did you carry, pouches? Issued stuff, bought stuff? Give me the whole gear queer low-down.

cookie-cutter393 karma

I used a Blackhawk STOMP II bag and carried my sphig, narcs and basic meds as well as spare IV starter kits. I had a section labled "OH SHIT!" and one labled "That's Not So bad". Oh Shit was for immediate lifesaving procedures (I carried tourniquettes, IV Kits, FAST 1, EZ-IO, Ace, Kerlex, burn gels and pre-made IV kits) and the other was mostly backups and more of the sick call type stuff.

BrinkMeister159 karma

I just love the fact that you have bag sections named that way. Brilliant!

cookie-cutter281 karma

It helped me in a hurry and helped my team in case something happened to me

ChiefGrizzly91 karma

I hope it doesn't sound flippant, but hearing all that military jargon in one post just gave me a huge hard on.

cookie-cutter77 karma

Its a good feeling I know

xfog135 karma

How'd you meet your favorite Afghan?

cookie-cutter233 karma

The kids would hang around us near the post selling us stuff. We would hand out candy and water and such and she just cme up and said she wanted a picture. Too cute to say no to

xfog84 karma

Did you keep in touch?

cookie-cutter179 karma

Not much that I can do. No real post system for them, no internet or phone either. We introduced our replacements to the kids and worked to build a bit of a relationship so that they'd be "taken care of" so to speak

xfog80 karma

That's too bad. What's that thing on your head? The red thing.

cookie-cutter143 karma

That was a light I kept attached to my helmet with a red lense filter. If I was in a dark/night environment and need light I could flip it on and have my hands free to work. A definite must have for any medic

xfog61 karma

That's cool. I hear good things about headlamps. How long does it last?

cookie-cutter110 karma

Mine had an excellent battery life but I would change them out at the first of every month just to make sure. I didn't have too many causes for it's use but I was definitely going to have it in good working order for when it was needed.

DuckingTape47 karma

Why red?

cookie-cutter147 karma

It is less easy to see the source of red light

Tf2Maniac122 karma

What is the worst injury you had to patch up?

cookie-cutter225 karma

In Iraq there was an Iraqi police officer who had been ripped apart in an IED. His bones splintered and acted as a nice big bit of shrapnel that tore into his buddy standing next to him. We had to patch up the survivor who was mostly just meatball at that point. Bad day

Tf2Maniac110 karma

Wow. Take's ball's to do what you did. Props man, Props. Also, why did you enlist? And were you prepared for any of it?

cookie-cutter211 karma

I was young and had this image of being this Capt. America-esque super-soldier. I had a really good sense of humor and I was able to sort of chuckle my way through it all

Potato_Head95 karma

I hope you still kept your sense of humor...it does wonders through tough times.

cookie-cutter158 karma

But of COURSE!

Pabbycakes115 karma

I'm leaving for BCT in 2 days for Ft. Sill, then off to Sam Houston for 68W AIT. Got any advice I can take?

cookie-cutter195 karma

Keep your mouth shut and ears open throughout BCT. When you get to AIT ask your instructors all the questions that you can and take great mental notes. You will learn more from these guys than you ever thought you could from anyone. Keep in shape and don't stress over the NREMT.

Pabbycakes94 karma

Thank you, Sergeant.

cookie-cutter146 karma

No need for that anymore but I hope that helps

Minifig81114 karma

What's the general voting consensus right now among troops? Who are they favoring?

cookie-cutter167 karma

The troops tend to favor the Republican nominees. I know Ron Paul has been making waves but there were alot of Santorum supporters

Minifig8190 karma

Really? Back when I was in basic in 2000, it was predominately democratic.

cookie-cutter187 karma

I imagine alot of it is the unit/people you are around. I was with a bunch of Southerners so I can only imagine that had a huge impact on their political predilections

HolyPhallus168 karma

It scares me that there are people with guns that would vote Santorum....

cookie-cutter241 karma

yup...me too

Tron-Gorf111 karma

Do you prefer to be a healer in MMORGPs?

cookie-cutter229 karma

Tank, im all about DPS

[deleted]29 karma


cookie-cutter111 karma


jazzberry7699 karma

You are my Captain America.

cookie-cutter129 karma


remm200493 karma

What are the requirements to be an army medic? Do you need some previous experience or do they train you?
How deep is your knowledge on the field? Just urgent care or even surgery?

cookie-cutter138 karma

The Army trains you in all aspects needed. There is no prerequisite aside from a proper GT score on the ASVAB. You attend the Army's 4 month Healthcare Specialist course in Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX. It consists of 8 weeks of EMT-B classes in which you test for your NREMT-B certification and 8 weeks of Combat Medic training. The extent of your training will come when you get to your unit, as will your established scope of practice from whatever provider you fall under.

radiationpoisoning7770 karma

There is no prerequisite aside from a proper GT score on the ASVAB.

Health Care Specialist (68W)

Required ASVAB Score(s)

  • Skilled Technical (ST) : 101,

  • General Technical (GT) : 104


cookie-cutter55 karma

Awesome, thanks for the great info!

Senor_Wilson23 karma

Do you study for the ASVAB? And if not is there anywhere to take a practice test online just for giggles? I'd like to know where I'd be placed...

cookie-cutter32 karma

Recruiters can administer a practice ASVAB and there are numerous study guides. I didn;t study and didn't really feel I needed to.

Meetballa15 karma

Can you elaborate as to why you didn't study? What kind of schooling/knowledge did you have prior to taking the ASVAB?

cookie-cutter25 karma

Basic public high school. Its mostly basic knowledge and I just knew what was asked

bru_tech91 karma

How does it feel knowing what you did over there can only be done by doctors or other highly trained healthcare professionals back in the states?

cookie-cutter154 karma

I enjoy having the skill set that I have but knowing myself, and a number of other medics, I wouldn't really put myself on par with a doctor or other medical provider

bru_tech59 karma

MD's here run risk of being sued and losing their licenses if they screw up. what's the military do when those "oopes" happen?

cookie-cutter101 karma

We operate under the license of a provider (PA, MD, RN) and as such they set our Scope of Practice. If we mess up in a big way than not only are we put under Courts MArshall but the provider runs the risk of losing their license.

bru_tech54 karma

how does that apply when you're in the field and situations turning from bad to worse? you don't neccessarily have RN or PA hovering over you

cookie-cutter90 karma

No but we document EVERYthing that we do. If the soldier is deemed to have been treated inappropriately when he gets to the next echelon of care then an investigation will show what was or wasnt done.

bru_tech48 karma

How does that happen during the heat of battle?

cookie-cutter93 karma

Field Medic Cards that we fill out before we trasport the patient. It is vitally important that all medical interventions are duly noted so as to ensure the best care for the patient.

mahi2950 karma

Can you elaborate more on that, please? Like, what separates you from a doctor in terms of skill and knowledge?

cookie-cutter143 karma

I had 4 months of formal training through the military and then whatever skills my provider wanted to teach me. I am no where NEAR a doctor's skill/knowledge level.

N3rdiByNatur388 karma

What was the hardest part of readjusting to civilian life?

cookie-cutter475 karma

Americans honestly. Loud, obnoxious, lazy, self-entitled and smelly

throwaway_and_ting74 karma

This is probably a tough one for you to answer, but did you lose any friends in the field?

cookie-cutter141 karma

No I did not.

tragic-waste-of-skin73 karma

Are you planning to use your skills as a medic in your civilian life, possibly as a paramedic or EMT?

cookie-cutter129 karma

No, I'm a bit burned out on the medical field. I loved my time in and the skill set I built but I don't have any passion to continue with it

tragic-waste-of-skin58 karma

Although I can never it compare it to your situation, I know the feeling of burning out. Good luck with your new chosen career, whatever it may be.

cookie-cutter68 karma

Thanks for that

SIRmackenzie71 karma

What was the most memorable experience from your tours??

cookie-cutter215 karma

Oh wow, I have a few but the one that really stands out would be using a huge slingshot we ordered off the internet to shoot water balloons around our base in Iraq. It was awesome!

kidsondrugs76 karma

I can't help but imagine this giant slingshot being the size of the ones Wile. E Coyote uses to try and catch the Road Runner...

cookie-cutter151 karma

roughly. Shot them up to 300m

apopheniac198980 karma


I see a lot of military guys using metric all the time (I live near a fort, so I know a lot of them). Is this some kind of military standard or something?

cookie-cutter287 karma

Yeah, we tend to use the metric system because it makes a helluva lot more sense (especially when the rest of the world is using it too)

brodza50 karma

What's the most disturbing thing you saw while on duty?

cookie-cutter109 karma

October 29, 2011 I had to help remove bodies from an IED blast and act as the de facto Mortuary Affairs guy. Essentially I was incharge of sifting through the belongings to try and find anything that might ID who was in the vehicle. Link: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-29/asia/world_asia_afghanistan-nato-attack_1_afghan-army-uniform-suicide-bomber-afghan-officials?_s=PM:ASIA

brodza23 karma

Damn.. I commend you on being able to go through that. I guess you're trained for it and all but that's gotta be hard.. Good on you for helping the world. You've done a good job :) Oh, and did you work with many Australians?

cookie-cutter38 karma

Just a few but the Aussies are good folks.

[deleted]50 karma


cookie-cutter88 karma

2 actually. O'Fallon's Wheach (Wheat and Peach) Good stuff!

tragic-waste-of-skin49 karma

What's the difference between a medic and a corpsman? Just the name?

cookie-cutter74 karma

As far as I understand. The initial training is done at Ft. Sam Houston. I can't give much more information than that.

tragic-waste-of-skin41 karma

Dare I ask why not?

cookie-cutter102 karma

I'm not well enough informed to give any good information. I wouldn;t want to feed you any bullshit

tragic-waste-of-skin49 karma

Oh, I thought you were going to say something like it's classified.

cookie-cutter182 karma

Ha, no, nothing that sexy. Just plain old ignorance

epsdelta38 karma

First off, thank you. I served during 'peacetime' (the Clinton years) and while there was no war, I was stationed at a rapid deployment base, i.e. anywhere in the world in 72 hours. I took it seriously (a lot didn't. They were dumb lazy cunts).

My question is, how did you reconcile the U.S. propaganda machine with the reality on the ground? Were you fighting the good fight? Were you just serving and saving your comrades? Were you... (insert other perspective)?

cookie-cutter71 karma

I was just trying to help whoever needed it

CaptainAmsterdam35 karma


cookie-cutter147 karma

But..I'm awake now

reddituser217433 karma

hey thanks for the AMA. I just finished highschool and have NO idea what to do next so I decided to try and join the Air Force or the Navy. Is joining the military really worth it?

cookie-cutter58 karma

You have to do some soul searching and research on each branch to decide if it is really for you

PureBlooded31 karma

What say you about Islaam?

cookie-cutter183 karma

Everyone needs something to believe in and I fully support that so long as it doesn't interfere with anyone elses way of life. I could care less if youre a jew, christian, muslim or atheist so long as you can live and let live

kotszak31 karma

Is a medic also on patrol/fighting or is he/she always in a camp? Sorry, i know nothing about the army...

cookie-cutter45 karma

We have clinical and field medics. They (He and she) will serve in whatever capacity they are needed/what their unit is. In a medical unit I was in a clinic and in a Military Police unit I was in the field.

radiationpoisoning7726 karma

  • Were you RA, NG, or AR?

  • How many years did you serve?

  • What was your rank?

  • How was your transition to civilian life?

cookie-cutter49 karma

I was in the National Guard but spent far more time on Active Duty than I did doing drill status. I was in for 6 years and attained the rank of Sgt (E-5). Getting back into civilian life was rough at first but I have since kept myself plenty busy with school and have had a wonderful experience since getting my head straight.

radiationpoisoning7726 karma

  • What are you going to school for?

  • Is the military helping pay for school (GI bill)?

  • Has being an Army medic help you get a job in the civilian sector?

cookie-cutter65 karma

I am currently studying to be a history teacher. I am recieving my GI Bill which is a HUGE help and I haven't really sought any work within the medical field so I can't give a good answer on that.

radiationpoisoning7716 karma

Found this website, Troops to Teachers. It talks mostly about RA & AR components but it might be useful for resources for you to become a teacher.

  • Did you go to school or work during your time in the NG?

cookie-cutter25 karma

I sort of squandered my time and didn't do any school while I was deployed. I had done a couple of classes between deployments but nothing that really shot me forward in the world of academia. I am making up for a lot of lost time now

neverbeaten25 karma

What aren't you supposed to tell anyone?

cookie-cutter75 karma

Project Pegasus was responsible for setting up most of the presidential elections in the later part of the 20th century

FazeKross25 karma

What happens when the Medic gets injured? Thanks for being awesome and stay safe. :)

cookie-cutter42 karma

We train our teams in some of the more basic first aid so that if we go down or need help then there it is

IllGiveYouTheKey24 karma

What were your opinions (should we be involved in the first place, has it helped, what should/shouldn't be done more/less etc) on these wars before/during/after/now? What is your stance on any possible intervention in other countries, such as Iran in the future? And how do your opinions differ from others involved in the army?


cookie-cutter75 karma

I don't believe that we were there for a good reason and the American people were led to believe many falsehoods. I was always under the impression that I was just trying to help people out.

[deleted]9 karma

Do you act in a combat role until you are needed or do you generally go behind the fireteams and wait until required?

cookie-cutter14 karma

I was told to stay behind the line until I was needed