As a Corpsman or medic, entering your first unit can be pretty damn stressful. You have no idea what to expect from the new world within which you’re about to immerse yourself.
Sure, you’re out to do the right thing for your men, but many medics aren’t seen as tough guys… at least in the beginning. You’re going to be treated like any other boot in the platoon until you establish yourself as a someone who deserves respect.
Building that respect starts from the moment you meet your squad.
1. Speak from your diaphragm during your introduction
Grunts are spoken to with authority on a daily basis by their superiors and they typically respect the tone of a bass-filled voice. If you introduce yourself to your new squad using a little, mousy voice — well, good luck recovering from that.
2. Have perfectly rolled sleeves
In the spring and summer months, Marines wear their sleeves rolled-up as part of their uniform. Since most “greenside” Navy Corpsman fall within the Marine Corps chain of command, having tightly rolled sleeves tells your grunts that you took the time to get everyone tickets to the gun show.
3. Just nod your head and say, “yes”
In your first unit, you’re going to be expected to know a thing or two about medical stuff. If one of your new grunts start rattling off their medical history, just nod your head and act like you know everything they’re saying.
Number 1, they’ll think you’re listening — that’s a good start. And number 2, they’ll think you know your medical mumbo-jumbo.
4. Don’t mess up a Marine’s rank… ever
Marines memorize the finer points of military bearing. The importance of rank and showing it respect is instilled into their brains from the moment they step on those famous yellow footprints. So, since you’re part of the team now, they expect you to know the details as well. On the flipside, don’t expect them to know your rank.
The default rank for all Corpsman is, simply, “doc.” Once you’ve earned that title, just embrace it.
5. Posture is everything
Just like your parents used to tell you at the dinner table, “sit-up-straight!” Good posture shows you have a solid backbone and a strong personality. Write that down.