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How much weight does a 68W combat medic carry ?

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

How much weight does a 68w combat Medic carry?

68w combat medicare's play an all important role in providing succor and health care services to combat soldiers. To do their jobs effectively, these sets of people are required to carry typical gear and a wide range of medical equipment that has much weight.

This article takes a detailed look at what the 68W combat medicare is and how much weight they are required to carry.

What is a 68w combat medicare?

The 68W pronounced, the Sixty-eight whiskey is the Military Occupational Specialty(MOS) for the United States Army's Combat Medic. They are military healthcare specialists saddled with the responsibility of providing succor and health services to the other soldiers.

Although they do not physically participate in combat by firing shots, they risk their lives to save the lives of injured soldiers.

The members of 68W combat medicare are selfless and brave, fervently providing emergency medical treatment to casualties on the battlefield, tending to the wounded on the frontline, offering primary health care to all members of the team.

In addition, 68W combat medics are always seen accompanying both small and large military units; the platoons and the battalions.

They are usually distinguished with heavy backpacks containing medical supplies and are referred to as ‘docs’ within the combat units.


68W personnel undergo rigorous training preparing them for scenarios faced on the battlefield. Training in 68W medic school typically lasts for about 16 weeks and is phased into two.

The first of which provides certification as an emergency medical technician and another in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The second phase, also known as the whiskey side, caters to training in advanced trauma medicine, which includes hooking IV fluid lines, airway management, trauma management, and limited primary care.

In the course of the whole training, speed, dexterity, and tact are qualities that are emphasized on.

Medical procedures such as fluid resuscitation, gunshot treatment, managing burns, and traumatic injuries are amongst the common medical skills required on the battlefield.

Combat medics with additional training on specialties such as orthopedic, optometry, to mention a few, are awarded additional skill identifiers and can be identified by the insignia attached to their uniforms.

The combat medic is frequently harmed in the course of offering medical treatment to injured soldiers.

All the conventional military gear are thus required for their protection, should they be attacked while fulfilling their responsibilities.

Necessary Military Gear for 68W Combat Medicare


Like all other members of the military unit, the Combat Medics could be seen carrying either an M4 or M16 Rifle and/or M9 pistol. These rifles weigh about 6 - 6.5lb when not loaded and 7 - 7.5lb when loaded.

Flak jacket

This body armor is worn to protect the combat medics from fragments, shrapnel, and other lower-velocity projectiles. Flak jackets weigh about 13 to 16 pounds.


Multiple rounds of ammunition for firearms are carried in MOLLE vest, grenades, and grenade launchers.

Advanced combat helmet

The advanced combat helmet protects the patriots against head injuries and weighs 2.5 to 3.5 lbs.

Bulletproof plates

These plates weigh about 6lbs and serve to protect military men from bullet wounds.

The Army Combat Uniform

Generally, the army gear weighs about 50lbs or more in total. The Combat Medic has more load to carry in accordance with their responsibility. The Combat Medics are also armed with their aid bags, which contain medical supplies. The air bags are specially designed backpacks containing multiple, different sized compartments to take in the plethora of supplies carried by the 68W.

The bag, modified for ease of access, often comes with two zip access (upper and lower) that allow for convenience and external MOLLE straps for storage and easy handling of equipment.

The compartments are labeled appropriately with various compartments containing medical equipment for hemorrhage, airway management, medications, and other compartments for miscellaneous items depending on their medical units.

What is contained in a combat medic aid bag?

A Combat Medic usual aid bag would contain medical supplies for the following.


  • Combat Application Tourniquet(CAT), used to clamp blood vessels in cases of trauma or penetrating injuries to stop my bleeding, is the first line of action to prevent massive hemorrhage.

  • Emergency trauma bandages(ETB) for applying pressure on abdominal wounds as a form of first aid.

  • Compress gauzes for dressing injuries; ace wraps to prevent swelling of Injury sites, junctional tourniquets, and some other hemostatic agents.


  • Intravenous kit and fluids for rehydration and intravenous nutrition. Normal saline, lactated ringers, hetastarch are often used.

  • 14, 16, 18 gauge needles and catheters

Airway management

  • A catheter for chest decompression in cases of fluid accumulation in the lungs.

  • Chest seals for occluding sucking chest injuries.

  • Nasopharyngeal Airway(NPA) and Oropharyngeal Airway(OPA) to aid in securing the nasal and oral airway of patients for oxygen delivery

  • Cricothyrotomytomy surgery kit.

Diagnostic procedures

  • Blood pressure cuffs

  • Pulse oximeters

  • Stethoscopes

  • Thermometers


A collection of antibiotics, pain killers, sedatives, and other over-the-counter drugs.

Casualty management and rescue equipment such as stretchers, rescue hooks, personal protective equipment like hand gloves, heat blankets for hypothermia prevention is also part of the contents of the medical aid bag.

Other miscellaneous equipment includes surgical kits, cool aids, tapes, sharp bins, fire disposal of medical waste, sterile water, bandages, scissors, swabs, safety pins, burn dressings.


The 68W combat medicare carry materials needed for medical preparedness and tackling of the common causes of death that can be prevented on the battlefield. The medical aid bag could weigh between 25lbs to 45lbs. While a non-Medic soldier might carry about 50lbs or 6lbs, a combat Medic might carry about 75lbs to 90lbs.

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