Accreditation: This course is accredited by ASRT - an approved continuing education provider of ARRT.
Release Date: 1/1/2017
Expiration Date: 1/31/2020

The Special Operations Combat Medic: History, Training, Patient Care Protocols, and Medical Imaging Applications

George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)*

*Medical Imaging Consultant, Radiology Support Services, Germantown, NY

Address correspondence to:
George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)
Radiology Support Services
PO Box 215, Germantown, NY 12526

Disclosures: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

This paper is dedicated to the brave men and women throughout the generations of conflict who have served as medics and healthcare support personnel in the armed forces. Their sacrifice to save and treat others is eternal.


From World War I to our current military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, medical imaging technology utilized in battlefield settings has vastly improved and evolved over the years. This has led to the transition of the equipment made available to the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM), military radiographer, and radiologist to assist in the triage and diagnosis of battlefield-related injuries. Medical treatment facilities close to the battlefield usually have available the following medical imaging modalities: ultrasound, digital radiography, and teleradiology. Whether it is in the battlefield or an offsite triage facility; one's first responder exper­tise from the stateside clinical setting to the combat zone requires intensive training, sharp technical skills, the ability to think outside the box, and, above all, bravery. As advancements have occurred over the decades in military armament and technology, so too have changes in the types of equipment the SOCM has access to, and what additional tools might be available to them in the future.

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