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Would You Rather: Forward Observer Or Combat Medic

Posted by WETSU Airborne Community

In a 30-man infantry platoon, the two vital attachments are the Forward Observer (who typically brings an RTO) and the Combat Medic. We ask troops who would they rather bring on patrol with them. Here are some of their answers:

  1. Lots of room for speculation but I’m taking doc. We’ve gotten too comfortable with the long fight and just calling fires on it and moving on. Patrolling without doc is a dangerous game CLS is applicable but still a gamble. Doc knows what he needs to do exactly when he needs to.
  1. I’m CLS certified I’ll take the FO.
  1. Apparently not everyone can do an FO's job because grunts still can't do simple shit for EIB and 19d's and other MOS's still drop out of JFO in the first week.
  1. Medic in Iraq, FO in Afghanistan. 
  1. Give me them FiSTy boiis. Everyone has an IFAK.
  1. I’m a PSG, I rather have a qualified medic to treat my wounded, then an FO. If you can give your location, distance and direction to target, you can use assets. Might sound a little jacked up but they can make it happen.
  1. I loved my FO’s, but not having one with us never prevented us from getting rounds on target. Honestly both in Iraq and Afghanistan between the availability of CAS and or mortars our FO’s either ended up in a stack with us or triaging with the medic anyway.
  1. I loved my FO’s, but not having one with us never prevented us from getting rounds on target. Honestly both in Iraq and Afghanistan between the availability of CAS and or mortars our FO’s either ended up in a stack with us or triaging with the medic anyway.
  1. I’m going to say fister because we train up our grunts a lot on CLS which is good enough to get someone to the evacuation, but we don’t do too much on CFF. 
  1. Medic! Anyone can learn to CFF and control airspace. Medical skills are a much harder skill to maintain.
  1. In the worst-case scenario, an Aircraft can be talked on by ALMOST any mf with a radio and or can be tally target using its PODS. If someone needs anything other than a “simple” tourniquet like a junctional tourniquet or need fluids pushed WEBMD is not going save nobody lol
  1. They always say the best battlefield medicine is fire superiority, tourniquets and Motrin won’t stop the enemy.
  1. Give me another infantryman! I'm just kidding. A medic, most infantrymen have solid call for fire training. Calling in a bird is like talking to someone on the phone. "Bro, we're getting shot at from that red house" "aight, I gotchu bro"
  1. I mean neither idea is wrong. But I will debate that most medics I've seen are significantly better at their jobs than most FISTers I've seen. And not every FISTer is basically a Jaguar. And I'd rather have a dude that knows a jacked-up homie with wood needs to be treated for spinal and pelvic injuries instead of a kid who's nervous about calling in a 60mm mission. It’s also subjective to the levels we both work at and have seen.
  1. FOs are great, but generally, the PL can give a “good enough” solution. The platoon can’t replicate the medic’s skills. It’s one thing to (let’s be honest) not be able to do a fire mission against a couple of guys on a different mountain. But when you need a medic, you really, really want to have one.
  1. FO because none of yall "well I can call for fire" mfr's can do CAS.
  1. Everyone knows how to CFF I’m taking Doc for the advance medical stuff lol.
  1. cALlINg fOr fIrE iZz eAZy *calls in their location instead of target location* eVeRy nCo sHoULd kNoW hOw tO cFf *fails call for fire lane at EIB for the 5th consecutive time* There’s a reason they teach you CLS and make you recert periodically on basic medical skills, if the medic goes down you all can treat and save them, however, your FO goes down then there goes your arty, mortars, CAS, CCA, and NSFS
  1. A good F.O. a bad one would require a lot of medics 
  1. If they didn't finish their Cyber Awareness Training and SSD1, then I don’t want them down range

When tallied the medics won by an overall 66% over the Forward Observer. We are sorry fisters go ahead stay on the base with your radios and play some Call of Duty. Editor’s note, Number 20 was definitely my favorite comment.