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  • August 4, 2009
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Fleet Marine Force Warfare Insignia

The other day it was my pleasure to be a part of presenting two of our Hospital Corpsmen with their Fleet Marine Force pin. This is a pretty big deal in case you didn’t know as it signifies achievement of superior excellence and proficiency.

The Navy Hospital Corps was established in 1898 and is the only all enlisted Corps in the U.S. Navy. They have served alongside U.S. Marines since the Revolutionary War and since there are no medics in the Marine Corps we find them pretty handy. Generally Marines refer to all Corpsmen as “Doc” no matter their rank. Except the Chief; we call him Chief.

America’s 1stSgt reads the certificates using his big boy voice.

Navy Corpsmen are one of the most highly decorated rates in the Navy. They have the most Medal of Honor recipients with 22 (probably because they are always looking after Marines); Navy Cross recipients 174; Distinguished Service Cross 31; Silver Star 946; Bronze Star 1582.

The FMF pin in and of itself is a relatively new thing as it has only been around for eight years or so. The designation “Fleet Marine Force” has been in use for quite some time as it characterizes Sailors serving with the world’s finest United States Marine Corps.

Chief Rains pins Doc Imperial.

Before Sailors can qualify for this august designation they must be assigned to a Marine unit. In the case of Petty Officers Imperial and Sison pictured here it just happens to be America’s Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. They also happen to be in Headhunting & Skullduggery Company with America’s 1stSgt.

First they must meet and complete the Personal Qualification Standards (PQS) consisting of twenty separate areas of Marine Corps knowledge. These subjects range from the glories of Marine Corps history to what in the wide, wide world an engineering outfit is supposed to do. There are also a number of specific tasks that must be completed including passing a Marine Physical Fitness Test; familiarization with nomenclature and capability of various weapons systems from the rinky-dink M9 pistol to the rugged and manly M240G machine gun. I myself have looked at the PQS and privately wondered if I would pass. They have to learn and retain a lot of trash!

Doc Taylor pins Doc Sison.

After drinking from the PQS fire hose there is a written exam then a practical exam covering subjects like weapons handling fundamentals; communications operations; land navigation; aircraft and ship recognition; and basic first aid. If they manage to get over that hurdle they report to a board of Senior Enlisted Sailors where their FMF knowledge; bearing; and understanding of the litany of subjects discussed above are assessed.

For the individual Sailor this experience not only qualifies them to wear the coveted FMF Warfare Insignia but cements their place in the unit to which they are assigned and illuminates their role in as part of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.


HM1 Imperial and HM1 Sison proudly sport the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Insignia. They don’t quite have the swagger thing down, yet, but apparently that wasn’t part of the PQS.

The United States Navy: life, liberty, and the pursuit of those who threaten it. Yeah!

Semper Fi,

America’s 1stSgt

/ / / /

6 comments

  1. Top, the “Docs” are the best. When with either Army or Marines, the Docs were my best friend…we took care of them and they took care of us.
    The quals sound kind of like our Expert Infantary Badge–which is not an easy thing to earn.

    Could I see a big smile on these guy’s faces?

  2. The front-line medics in all services are people who have my utmost respect. When the action is happening, you guys are firing and maneuvering and stuff. You see a guy go down, but keep on keeping on. The medic is with the wounded person till what ever. They see the worst of the worst and have to deal with that. They deserve to be taken care of. OOH RAH Imperial and Sison. Well done mate.

  3. They’re the crucial link between the battle field and the FST’s.
    Thank you for this informative post. That photo will no doubt be treasured by them and all who knows them forever!
    Congratulations, this is a big achievement.

    Many a corpsman has gone on to a good career in medicine once they get out. I’m sure these two will be an asset to any hospital around.

  4. CI-Roller, I would not want to be subjected to the exams they have totake. They might send me back to boot camp!

    Coffee, green side Corpsmen rock! I’ve seen whole platoons get intofistfights if they thought someone was messing with their “Doc”.

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