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Amphibious Reconnaissance Hospital Corpsman
US Navy SARC Insignia.jpg
Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman
Active 19 June 1957 - present
Country United States
Allegiance United States Department of Defense
United States Department of the Navy
Branch United States Navy
Type Special Operations (Capable) Force
Part of Fleet Marine Force
Nickname "Doc"
Motto "The difficult Anytime, the 'Impossible' by appointment only!"

The Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen are hospital corpsmen that provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force reconnaissance teams advanced trauma management associated with combatant diving and parachute entry. The Fleet Marine Force also have Independent Duty Corpsmen (IDC), the Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen (SARC), attached to the Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance companies to help support the Command Element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force in special reconnaissance missions.


Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman

The SARCs are a team of 22 senior hospital corpsmen and seventy-two junior hospital corpsmen, trained and specialized in the same aspects of their recon Marine counterparts, in amphibious, deep recon and direct action. They are also capable of conducting detailed underwater ship-bottom searches. During operational status, the teams will then be dispersed evenly throughout the Marine recon platoons; usually one amphibious recon hospital corpsman per platoon. SARCs have regularly acted as the point man, as the radio operator, or even the team leader in the Marine recon teams/platoons.


The environments that recon Marines and hospital corpsmen face during a mission are usually hazardous. The Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen use their paramedic skills to provide basic life support and other routine emergency medical health care procedures related to the hazards of swimming, open and closed circuit SCUBA diving, and military freefall during amphibious reconnaissance operations. They also instruct and advise the recon Marines in prevention and treatment of illnesses, whether in combat or training.

The SARC has the duty of hyperbaric chamber operator: skilled in the operation of recompression chambers for hyperbaric treatment. They are also required to know laws and physics of diving, fundamentals of proper gas mixtures, theory and practice of decompression and the use of decompression tables.

  • Performs routine sick call, diagnostic patient care as well as associated operational, administrative, and logistical duties.
  • Performs basic anesthesia, minor surgical, basic clinical laboratory, basic radiology, and other routine and emergency health care procedures as required.
  • Instructs and advises junior medical and operational personnel in prevention and treatment of illness and injuries.
  • Recognizes all types of illnesses associated with diving to include oxygen toxicity and hypercapnia, nitrogen narcosis, type I and II decompression sickness and air/gas embolism.

Screening and training

Male graduates of Field Medical Service School, hospitalman to hospital corpsman 2nd class, who are currently serving with a Marine Corps unit may attend the screening. Candidates must have a current ASVAB general technical score of 100 or higher, the last three physical fitness assessments and be able to achieve a first class swim qualification. A commanding officer endorsement is also required, no non-judicial punishments for 12 months and no court martials for 24 months. The extensive training requires a commitment to serve as a recon hospital corpsman for three years.

Qualified recon corpsmen are sent to a "Marines Awaiting Reconnaissance Training" (MART) platoon at Camp Pendleton, CA where they train continuously. Once a hospital corpsman passes the screening criteria, he must attend the 13-week Basic Reconnaissance Course at Camp Pendleton, CA. After BRC, the corpsman must complete training schools that include the United States Marine Corps Combatant Diver Course, Army Basic Airborne School and Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman Course. [1]


Occupational Classification

After completion of Phase 1-6 listed below, corpsman holding the NEC 8404 will be awarded the NEC 8427. All other personnel will be able to perform as a qualified inside tender.[2]

  1. NEC 8404 Fleet Marine School graduate
  2. Basic Reconnaissance School MOS (0321) (9 weeks)
  3. Marine Combatant Dive School (7 weeks)
  4. Amphibious Reconnaissance Course (3 weeks)
  5. US Army Special Operations Combatant Medic 18D short course (24 weeks)
  6. US Army Basic Airborne School (3 weeks). Sailors possessing NEC 8404 will be awarded NEC 8427.
  7. US Army Special Operations Combat Medic 18D ADSOCM (24 weeks). Sailors holding the NEC 8427 will be awarded NEC 8403.

See also



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