The evolution and role changes of the Australian Military medic: A review of the literature

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Many ancient armies tried to reduce morbidity and mortality on the battlefield through the provision of first aid, the objective of this aid to prevent further injury and relieve pain until medical help arrived, with the foundation of organised and trained first aid having its origins in this military environment (1). The most successful being the Romans, under Emperor Augustus (63BC-18AD), who developed advanced military medical services to support their legions (2). Included in these services were bandagers called Capsarii. These men who wore the same combat gear as their fellow soldiers were essentially combat medics, effective in providing prompt first aid due to their positing in battle. Thus the origin of military combat medics, known also as medical technicians or medical assistants, begins (3). These soldiers, also known as milites medici, had additional training in the art of medicine and were exempt from other duties as their priority was the care of the wounded and sick both on the march and in temporary hospitals (2). The tradition stands true today with the aim of the military combat medic who goes into battle with soldiers of their company being to stabilise, give comfort and evacuate (4). The availability of persons skilled in the treatment of wounds improves the morale of fighting men, giving rise to a more efficient and motivated fighting force (2), thus the tradition of the military medics begins and continues today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Military and Veterans' Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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