FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — In an effort to match the broad range of medical treatments available to the civilian population, the U.S. Army has introduced a new breed of battlefield medic, the service announced Friday.
The new MOS, Complementary Medicine Specialist (69W), or “holistic medic,” will be trained in a variety of alternative medical treatments, ranging from aromatherapy to interventional prayer, and will be authorized to prescribe medications like megavitamins and homeopathic dilutions.
“There’s great demand for treating warfighter injuries with more natural, holistic remedies,” said Col. Thomas Sorrenson, commander of the new program. “So where a traditional combat medic treats an amputated limb with a tourniquet and hemostatic gauze, our protocol opts for a healing-hands reiki session followed by some cleansing herbs.”
“It’s a more integrative approach,” he said. “After all, what’s really more important: stopping massive blood loss and preventing shock, or curing a devastating disruption of a soldier’s chi?”
In lieu of conventional trauma supplies like bandages, tourniquets, and chest seals, holistic medics’ aid bags will be stocked with colon cleanse kits, prayer beads, and ginkgo biloba auto-injectors.
Sgt. 1st Class Nick Bye, an instructor in the holistic medic course, told Duffel Blog that the training to become a 69W is intense.