Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Navy's Top Doc motivates newest FMF corpsmen

When the Navy’s top corpsman, Force Master Chief (FMF) Laura A. Martinez, asked the more than 280 Field Medical Training Battalion graduates of class 2010-020 if they were ready to graduate; the “Yes, Master Chief!” was deafening.

As Martinez spoke to the largest class to ever graduate from the course, the sailors listened intently to her words of wisdom from more than 30 years experience as a corpsman, March 25.

“Today you earn the title ‘corpsman’ and the term ‘Doc,’ which shows the mutual respect between Marines and their corpsmen,” Martinez said. “Doc, your Marines will honor that title with respect, because anywhere the Marines go, the corpsmen are right there with them.”

Martinez continued, saying many of the graduates may find themselves forward deployed within the coming months and this training has prepared them for it.

After the speech by the “Top Doc,” the new corpsmen were presented their Medical Shield. The shield is a small black insignia with a caduceus, centered and placed on the left collar and not only represents their new job as an FMF corpsman, but also their responsibility to save their Marine’s lives should there ever be a need.

“I have had countless Marines come back from war and tell me that the only reason they’re alive today is because of their Doc,” Martinez said. “Hearing things like this let me know that these corpsmen will save lives, and that they should know if they look out for their Marines, their Marines will look after them.”

For the FMTB instructors that have trained several classes, like Cpl. Austin Farmer, 2nd platoon advisor, Class 2010-020, says that the transition from basic sailor to FMF corpsman is the best part of his job.

“When they check in, they don’t really know what they’re doing and we constantly have to spot check them,” Farmer said. “So the instructors have to make sure they go from a Navy mindset to a Marine Corps one and that takes time. But by the time they get to their final field exercise, we don’t have to step in because they know what they’re doing. It’s the hardest part of the course for them, but it fills the instructors with pride seeing how well they work together,” he said.

To comment on this story online, visit www


Reader Comments(0)