Lack of Medical Readiness Is a War Stopper

USNI Proceedings – Medical support of the sick and wounded is a complicated, resource intensive, and vital aspect of every over-the-sea operation. Over the past 15 years, operational deployments in the Middle East have required U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces to focus on stability and counterinsurgency operations, but looking ahead, traditional amphibious roles likely will be required once again. During these future operations, how long will it take for a latent but “hopefully” functionally effective medical support system to evolve? Will medical support of the anticipated sea-base concept of operations, for example, suffer the same sad evolution of repetitive mistakes committed during prior amphibious conflicts over the past century? It is imperative that those who bear responsibility for ensuring prompt and competent care is provided to the combat injured examine the lessons of history.