Quotes March 05, 2021

Courtesy of Quotes on Military Medicine

“Thus the US Army entered World War 2 considerably behind the standards of World War 1.”
COL Robert Hardaway, MD, USA, in “Care of the Wounded in Vietnam”

“In the ETO, I never hurt for clinical talent, but I was constantly hurting for leadership of this talent half as good as the talent itself.”
MG Paul R. Hawley, Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA

“Military medicine is a well conceived, well advised, and well established device, system, or mechanism, the mission of which is to provide the Armed Services with a quality or brand of medical coverage that is not only essential to the proper and efficient function of the military but is moreover essential to the best interests of the individual and of the national welfare.”
“One would need only to go to Korea, as I have been during the past two summers, and there observe the manner of living and of the activity being engaged in by medical personnel serving with the combatants in the theater of war. One would not need to remain long there to appreciate the essentiality of service doctors being psychologically agile, emotionally stable, professionally genuine, and physically able and tough.”

“Since when has the doctor of medicine and dentistry become such a pantywaist as to require that a bald responsibility others accept with good grace must be diked out with certain frills before he will buy it.”
“During my sojourn at the combatant front in Korea this past summer I failed to detect evidence of any special effort being made on the part of anyone to make the service more attractive to the soldiers and Marines who were fighting, bleeding, and dying in the heat and dust on a barren Korean hillside.”

“The manner of man requisite to filling the bill that needs to be filled by the Medical and Dental Corps of the Armed Services is an individual who to himself clearly realizes that it is a privilege and not a penalty to serve in a uniform of his national defense establishment, that it is his establishment and his nation for the defense of which the establishment exists and that he may be no more honorably distinguished than by wearing that uniform, and that by abhorring ignoble ease he can perform no more worthy mission than that of protecting and restoring the most priceless element, that of health, in our most precious national resource, the men and women who comprise the Armed Forces.”
Rear Admiral Lamont Pugh, USN, Surgeon General of the Navy in an address before the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, November 17, 1952

QUOTES FROM “THE MEDIC’S WAR”, by Albert Cowdrey
“Field training with a division is an indispensable ingredient of [the medical officer’s] education, especially if he is in the regular service, no matter how rarified and sacrosanct his MOS.”
General Ginn, 8th Army Surgeon, during the Korean War.

Survey of doctors in 1951 in Korea- said they needed more training in “map reading, setting up and packing medical chest under field conditions, chain of command, specific duties of unit surgeons, field tactics, organization of the medical company, tactical defense, perimeter defense, use of the grenade and bayonet”
Albert Cowdrey, “The Medic’s War”

LTC Louis Winkler, MD, USA (Ret), former Brigade Surgeon, 173rd Abn Bde”The final lesson of Vietnam must be that there is a need for physicians who are well trained in both field and clinical medicine- specialists in combat medicine- to serve as brigade/division/corps surgeons. It is illogical to expect a fully trained pediatrician, internist, or surgeon with only the basic medical officer course to function in this capacity. A highly motivated physician will learn his duties on the job, but this is not optimal nor effective. In order to insure that physicians are prepared for these tasks, formal recognition should be given to the specialty of Combat Medicine just as for Aviation Medicine and Preventive Medicine. A training program and career pattern should be established. This specialty should be encouraged in time of peace as well as times of conflict. Only this way will the lessons learned in Vietnam not have to be relearned in the next conflict.”

“TOE’s of all the medical units were woefully out of date.”
COL Robert Hardaway, MD, USA, writing on the state of medical affairs in Vietnam, 1967, , in “Care of the Wounded in Vietnam”

“Very few mental health officers and almost no enlisted behavioral science specialists have the training required to conduct post-combat debriefings.”
“Most team members were not trained as mental health professionals or soldiers for this type of mission.”
Almost everyone – officer and enlisted- on the reserve OM teams lacked adequate soldier (field) skills.”
COL James Martin, MS

“(T)he vast majority of both active duty and civilians clinicians are largely inexperienced in caring for the injured.”
“The problem is further complicated by mistaking civilian trauma care with that of the experience in the combat zone.”
“Although undoubtedly to the benefit of the injured, it means the vast majority of both active duty and civilians clinicians are largely inexperienced in caring for the injured.”
RADM Ben Eiseman, MD, USN (Ret)

“Only a few doctors have worked in metropolitan emergency rooms and have experienced wounds made by knives, bullets, and explosions.”
“Units did not have equipment supply listings for refugee support, pediatrics, and obstetrics.”
“Joint service interface was complicated by differences in policies, procedures, equipment exchanges, and working knowledge of how each service operates.”
AMEDD Enlisted Lessons Learned, After Action Report, Operation Desert Storm