Ask Stew: SARC Training

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There are many opportunities in the medical training field for Navy personnel who want to start their career in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (HM). The training and skills learned over a career can take you from a novice to fully qualified EMT, Paramedic, and even advance into Nursing, Physician Assistant, to Medical Doctor, Researcher, or Surgeon. The pipeline of training is limited only by your personal goals in the medical community. You can even become a Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) as a Naval Hospital Corpsman.

Many hard-charging HMs want to serve in the Marine Corps or go into Special Operations (SEAL, SWCC, Diver, RECON, MarSOC). The term SARC is used as an acronym for Special Amphibious RECON Corpsman. Here is an email from a young man seeking to join the Navy and become an HM and serve with RECON or MarSOC units.

Stew, I am already a volunteer firefighter and EMT and want to take my skills into the Navy and perhaps work with Marines as a Hospital Corpsman. Perhaps later in my career, before I am too old, I would like to also try RECON or MarSOC so I am looking into the SARC pipeline. Any recommendations on what I need to train for physically? Academically? Thanks! Jack

Jack – The SARC pipeline will start off probably pretty boring for you as your current training will make Boot Camp at Great Lakes and A-school for Corpsman somewhat easier for you. The A school will be 19 weeks of training where most will be review for you, but take this time and train hard to get into shape for the USMC PFT (pullups, crunches, 3 mile run) as you will have to master that while attached to the Marine Corps units. Preparing for your 8-week Field Medical Training at Camp Lejeune as well as the follow on 12-week Basic RECON Course (BRC) will require running, rucking, and swimming. Not just swimming with fins, but treading water, swimming with cammies on, and without fins too -- both on the surface and underwater. GET COMFORTABLE IN THE WATER -- AND RUCKING!

Once you have completed the BRC the training will still be difficult but extremely fun as you will get to enjoy jumping from planes, combat SCUBA diving, combat dive medicine, and Survival Training (SERE – Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).

THEN you get to attend the 36-week course called Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) at Fort Bragg, NC. This is an intensive course of instruction that prepares you for becoming a combat medic skilled in trauma management and other involved medical procedures within a RECON or MarSOC unit.
More links to check out:

Navy Special Operations Medical Training Institute
SARC Pipeline Video
RECON Corpsman

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Contributor

Stew Smith works as a presenter and editorial board member with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has also written hundreds of articles on Military.com's Fitness Center that focus on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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