Fleet Marine Force Medical Logistics Is Not Just For Corpsmen


Not many in the logistics specialist community are aware that there are opportunities to serve alongside Marines and earn the Navy Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist Qualification.

Since 2008, logistics specialists have had the opportunity to bring their skills and knowledge to assist the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) in the area of medical logistics. A billet once reserved for Navy corpsmen, logistics specialists are responsible for ensuring the FMF and the Navy Medical Corps have the necessary Class VIII medical and dental supplies and equipment to carry out the Marine Corps mission.

These billets are available at four medical logistics hubs known as a medical logistics companies, commonly referred to as MEDLOGs. MEDLOGs support the three Marine Expeditionary Forces and the Marine Corps Reserve.

For the past four years, I have served alongside our Marine brothers and sisters at 2D Medical Logistics Company, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where we support II Marine Expeditionary Force and all operational Marine units along the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Our job at MEDLOG is not unlike the one we perform at a surface command. Logistics specialists are responsible for the procurement, receipt, stowage and the financial accounting of supplies, with a focus on Class VIII medical and dental supplies. The systems we use to perform these duties may be different than anything we use in the surface or aviation communities, but the concepts are the same.

These billets are available as both sea duty and shore duty. Sea duty billets include 1st MEDLOG (Camp Pendleton, California), 2nd MEDLOG (Camp Lejeune, North Carolina) and 3rd MEDLOG (Okinawa, Japan) and come with numerous opportunities to deploy with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). A shore duty billet is available at the 4th MEDLOG (Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina).

An FMF billet is physically demanding. However, Sailors who serve alongside Marines are not required to participate in the semi-annual Marine Corps physical fitness test, but train alongside Marines to remain physically fit. Unlike our corpsmen counterparts, who attend the 10-week Fleet Marine Training Battalion to prepare to serve alongside Marines, which includes Marine Corps familiarization and intense physical training, logistics specialists are not afforded the opportunity.

The addition of logistics specialists to the FMF has had an immediate and positive impact on the FMF. Offering logistics specialists the opportunity to deploy with a MEU provides the FMF with additional personnel with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure Marine Corps units and their corpsmen are provided with timely resupply of medical supplies.

In the past, a MEU would have to reach back to CONUS for resupply directly through their respective MEDLOG, who, in turn, would have to procure, package and ship supplies to the ship, prolonging the receiving time for deployed units. Now, a logistics specialist can provide an MEU with expedited resupply of their Class VIII medical and dental supplies while at sea in coordination with multiple supply sources strategically positioned around the globe. The operational tempo of a deployed MEU is hectic and demands the most streamlined processes to ensure supplies are available at a moment’s notice; and the addition of logistics specialists to a MEU ensures Marines and their corpsmen are mission ready at all times.

Serving alongside Marines and corpsmen also provides additional leadership opportunities to our rate. Along with increased leadership opportunities, there are opportunities to qualify on weapons not used in the surface or aviation communities, receive field and battle-tested first–aid training through the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course and participate in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, which teaches self-defense and hand–to–hand combat. Having served as a leading petty officer, responsible for not only logistics specialists, but Marines and corpsmen as well, has increased my leadership skills and made me a more well-rounded leader and Sailor. My best advice to anyone who is interested in serving in the FMF is to educate yourself through our community detailers. Streamlined processes to ensure class VIII medical and dental assets are available at a moment’s notice, and the addition of logistics specialists to a MEU ensures Marines and their Corpsmen are mission ready at all times.

November/December 2017