If you know anything about the Marine Corps, you know that they have no medical services. The Marines draw from the Navy for their medics (or Docs), and Recon has its own breed of Docs – The Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman. These elite Navy Docs are pretty much indistinguishable from their Marine Counterparts, with the exception of the long sideburns and the occasional 70s stash. They go through a pipeline of training to earn the SARC title. Their schooling consists of Amphibious Reconnaissance Course, Marine Combatant Diver Course, Basic Airborne Course and the school that makes them a Special Ops Doc: The Special Operations Combat Medic Course (SOCM).
Once the Recon Docs are done with their pipeline training, they’re assigned to a Recon Team, with Recon Battalion, Force Recon Company or MARSOC. There are no restrictions to the positions that they can fill. Many Docs have been everything from point men to team leaders. They also have the task to cross-train the rest of the team members is battlefield care. Some SARCs even go through the 18D Long Course, which is the same course that US Army Special Forces Medics attend.
The SARC program started in the 90s to enable the Navy to provide fully trained Recon Corpsman to the various Marine Corps Recon units. This program was a huge step for the community and also enables Docs to remain in the Recon Community as a career path.
The Recon Docs I served with are some of the finest Reconnaissance Operators I’ve had the pleasure to work with. So, anyone who wants to be in Recon, but really wants to be a medic … check out the SARC program.