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NEWS | Oct. 3, 2022

MEDCoE hosts summit forging future of combat medics

By Jose E. Rodriguez U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs

With the U.S. Army’s shift from brigade-centric warfare to large-scale combat operations, multi-domain operations, and force modernization, the role of the 68W combat medic also needs to change to meet the Army’s needs.

Forging the way forward, the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston held a three-day working summit for the 68W combat medic career field Sept. 26-28.

Organized by the MEDCoE Directorate of Training and Doctrine, the summit brought together subject matter experts from throughout the U.S. Army and Army Medicine functional areas.

The directorate is the responsible agent for the development of individual and collective Army Medicine life-cycle resident and sustainment education and training programs, courses, and products for MEDCoE in accordance with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC.

The summit’s goal was to determine requirements for 68W modernization and address Army Medicine solutions across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities and policy domains.

Maj. Gen. Michael Talley, MEDCoE commanding general, opened the summit by welcoming the participants and inviting them to bring together their best ideas to pave the path for the future of combat medics.

“We have the right leadership to drive change, and it starts here,” Talley said. “It’s not business as usual. We need to focus on what are the needs for future combat operations. It’s our job to determine what we need for skills.”

Operational forces will require combat medics to be more prepared and capable of providing medical support in LSCO and MDO. These will include prolonged care, treating disease and non-battle injury patients, providing blood closer to the point of injury, sustaining advanced skill requirements outside of the institutional training environment, and integrating nonmedical personnel into unit casualty response procedures.

The summit included an overview of future threats in the operating environment and medical considerations, a summary of recent combat medic efforts and current tasks. As the summit progressed, the participants received additional briefings and separated into working groups.

The breakout groups facilitated discussions examining 68W individual tasks and integration in collective tasks. These groups developed gaps/requirements and provided recommendations for topics that require more detailed refinement. Some of the covered topics included sustainment and career progression, manning, enhanced curriculum, and operational training.

At the end of the event, the attendees reviewed the working groups’ input to conduct a post-event analysis and a final report for leadership with plans for next year’s 68W summit.

For more information about MEDCoE or MEDCoE Directorate of Training and Doctrine, visit