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Military-Civic Action: Lessons Learned from a Brigade-Level Aid Project in the 2003 War with Iraq

  • Richard Malish (a1), John S. Scott (a2) and Burhan Omer Rasheed (a3)

Abstract

The primary mission of the military physician assigned to a combat-arms unit is to sustain the unit's fighting strength through prevention, primary medical care, and trauma resuscitation. Technical and organizational details of civic action assistance are not emphasized routinely during training. Real-world deployment, however, presents challenges approachable only with flexibility and improvisation. Historically, combatant commanders have recognized the health of civilians in their operational area as a target through which local acceptance of United States (US) intervention may be achieved. The medium-unit (battalion and brigade) physician may be charged with providing care to the host-nation populace. Because the mission's emphasis is one of public relations and not sustainable development, lasting medical benefits are not attained. This article addresses the challenge of on-the-spot military civic assistance. The experience of the 173d Airborne Brigade (Bde) Medical Section is used to color concepts with real events. The unit attempted to reach beyond the immediate directive in order to create a program of lasting results.

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Corresponding author

MAJ Richard Malish 119 Thomas Street, NW Washington, DC 20001, USA E-mail: Richard.malish@na.amedd.army.mil

References

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5. Major General Spurgeon Ned: Medical Assistance to Vietnamese Civiliians. In: Vietnam Studies-Medical Support of the US Army in Vietman 1965–1970. Available at http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/vietnam/medsupp/chpt13.htm. Accessed January 2005.
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Keywords

Military-Civic Action: Lessons Learned from a Brigade-Level Aid Project in the 2003 War with Iraq

  • Richard Malish (a1), John S. Scott (a2) and Burhan Omer Rasheed (a3)

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