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History of the Medical NCO (1775-1975)

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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A soldier is severely wounded blood pours out of his right upper femur from a gunshot wound. He lies on the ground on pain and screams for help but his call goes unanswered. He rips a sleeve from his shirt and attempts to control the bleeding by placing it on the wound. He needs medical care soon otherwise he will die. He looks around and there are several other young soldiers lying wounded or dead. Everything is blurred several hours have passed and he can hear voices above him. He feels the most excruciating pain he ever experienced. He looks down and sees his right lower leg separated from his body, being thrown to the side with other limbs. He sobs and everything goes black. He feels cold and shivers go down his spine. He tries to touch his right leg, but cannot find it. He thinks about his young wife and baby daughter, he wants to see them. He will never see them again. Another soldier dies from infection caused after amputation of a limb he is another casualty to unorganized and primitive medical care. The year is 1775. The history of the Medical Noncommissioned Officer NCO started before the birth of the Republic. It is a rich and proud one. Many factors caused up and downs in the Army, which directly affected the Medical NCO evolution. Prior to 1775, the Army was primarily made up of militiamen. There was no medical structure. Trained medical personnel were scarce and treatment and prevention of diseases was almost nonexistent. To make things worse, there was inadequate medicine and medical equipment available. Soldiers wounded in the battle were on their own until after the battle, when it was up to other soldiers, wives, or volunteers to take them the surgeons tent for treatment Haller 21. Washington frustrated with the status of the medical care available for his troops addressed the issue to Congress. On 27 July 1775, Congress authorized the Medical Service.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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[A, Approved For Public Release]