States Encouraged to Help Military Medics Transition

The federal government says military personnel with expertise in field medicine shouldn't have to start over in the civilian world.


With more military personnel and their spouses searching for jobs once their service commitment is over, President Obama is trying to make it easier for them to utilize their skills in the civilian world.

Rather than require military personnel with knowledge, skills and expertise to start at the beginning, the federal government is now ready to help states streamline the certification process.

Among the million service men and women re-entering the workforce include many with field medical experience.

States are being encouraged to assess the training and skills of military medics and other medical providers so they don’t have to start over.

 Following a study, a Presidential task force recommends:"...The State Initiative will focus on: a) identifying medics who are veterans of the Army and Air Force and have an existing EMT-Basic certification; b) assisting Navy Corpsmen to achieve EMT-Basic certification, c) working to streamline medic training across services and d) identifying legislative or administrative ways for states to reduce state-specific barriers to EMT and paramedic licensure for veterans.

 Among the jobs mentioned in the report of Obama’s Defense Department Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force also included licensed practical nurse and physician’s assistant.

The task force examined the duties, responsibilities and education of the nation's military, and is working with state officials to help them transition.

Specifically, the panel researched EMTs and Paramedics.

" Military medics have extensive experience with administering care in high pressure situations. This experience can serve them well in civilian jobs in emergency medical response. In 2012, there were slightly more than 75,000 Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve members in healthcare support occupations, and last year nearly 10,000 separated from the military. 

The Department of Labor estimates that, by 2020, the demand for EMT/Paramedics will
increase 33 percent. At $14.77, the median hourly wage for an EMT/Paramedic is
somewhat below the overall national median, but at about the median for high school
graduates with some college education—the level of education of 44 percent of post
9/11 veterans in 2012.

Currently, medics in the Army are required to pass the EMT national certification at the conclusion of their technical training in the health sciences and maintain the certification while they remain in that military occupational specialty. Air Force medics may take the exam but are not required to pass it.

States generally recognize this national EMT certification as one of the prerequisites for state licensure as an EMT, but most states also have additional requirements for state licensure and these requirements vary widely from state to state.

Additionally, advanced EMT and EMT Paramedics’ licensure requires an additional level of training and experience beyond that of an EMT, and that training may need to be provided to medics and corpsman through bridge training.

There are initiatives in the Army to convert the EMT Flight Medic to Flight Paramedic, which is the industry standard and the Army continues to present more avenues for its medics to train at an advanced level.