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.
“The course includes both lecture and hands-on instruction,” said Bye. “Holistic medics have to not only know their pharmacology, such as which essential oils to use for local anesthesia, but also practical skills, like stopping a sucking chest wound in under 30 seconds through the power of positive thinking.”
“Sure, some have dismissed our methods as ‘pseudoscience,’ but we’ve demonstrated a 100% success rate,” he added with a confident smile. “We haven’t lost a training mannequin yet.”
At Brooke Army Medical Center, the force is already witnessing the effects of the new methods of care.
“Pretty sure I broke my ankle fast-roping from a UH-60, so I thought I’d be getting some X-rays and painkillers today,” Spc. Timothy Steiner told reporters from a hospital bed. “Instead this dude puts some magnets next to my leg and says that we just need to ‘redirect my body’s vital energy field.’”
“Then he said he’d order some healing crystals and left the room,” he continued. “I really hope ‘crystals’ is some kind of doctor talk for Percocet. My energy field is fucking killing me.”