“Semper Moulage”

I am not sure that Sgt Grit will allow this story, but it was classic Marine Corps antics…

The Navy was commissioning a new type of hospital, "Fleet Hospital 2". It was a series of cargo containers that could put up a 500 bed hospital in less than 48 hours, anywhere in the world. I was the Doc assigned to the Marines who were tasked with guarding it. We were sitting around in the GP tent one afternoon and somehow the subject of spinal injuries came up. I explained the symptom of priapism. The Marines thought this was hilarious. We had been working with moulage during the exercise. They wanted a moulage for priapism. I donated a wire splint and a large battle dressing, because of course the Marine Corps priapism would be green. The Marines named the moulage, "Semper Erectus". Laughing a lot, we stowed the moulage into a ALICE pack. We all had a 3×5 card stowed in our blouse pocket with a diagnosis written on it, so that the Corpsman at the Fleet Hospital ER could diagnose the injury. We went out on patrol. We were ambushed. The Marines saw the opportunity and gave the moulage to a simulated casulty, along with the 3×5 card marked, "spinal injury". We were all brought back to Fleet Hospital ER… where a delegation of congressmen and congresswomen were waiting to observe the operation. The bomb squad frisked the injured Marine and shouted out "I.E.D.!" The politicians quickly gathered around, expecting to observe a shining example of training.  FORTUNATELY the Chief Medical Service Corps Officer was astute. He gave me a wary look and quickly retrieved and read the 3×5 card. With a panicked and quick reaction, he redirected the politicians to view "another part" of the Fleet Hospital's ER. Disaster averted. In hindsight, if the MSC Officer hadn't been so amused (in private), I probably would have been facing a Captain's Mast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *