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working outside job spec

#1
I may have been Walted, and if not, this may be too sensitive. Mods may wish to watch replies in case any journos are twitching.

I was chatting to a mate from my reg. reserve call up (2003 -4) and we got onto the subject of the medics who mobilized with us. Once we'd got away from the usual stuff - the lady Lt's exceptional chest, the g-g-g-gorgeous nurses etc - we got on to the stories from Gulf 2 and the aftermath that the medics told us. Is it true that various TA medics were required to stand guard over sensitive installations with orders to shoot to kill?

I personally find it hard to believe, but looking back the lads who told us so were not the type to do silly wind ups.

Just curious.
 
#2
Don't know the specific answer to your question but am confused that it would be an issue. All soldiers are just that, soldiers first and specialists second. Front line medics carry weapons and stag-on watch where necessary. If there are wounded to be tendered to then they get on with it but in between they do their duty.
 
#3
Sorry if I was unclear - the stories I heard were of medical staff (ie red cross armbands, which I understood to have a special significance under the Geneva Convention) being told to stag on over non medical positions and also - a detail I omitted - remove said armbands. Sounds a bit far fetched, my mate and I were in the bar at Brize when we heard these tales and when we were reminiscing about said Lt's attributes it all came back to us. At which point, we both thought 'errrr.... hang on a minute....'
 
#4
Medics are allowed to fight back if they or there patients come under attack. I doubt if the story is correct and a non medical unit would doubtfully be guarded by them. But we have had some Lt Col's or 2 ice creams who think that we should be Audi Murphys, theese normally are transfer from other regiments though, and still think we should be infantry,there is also those within the corps who think they are good soldier, but would not last long or stick out in a good infantry battalion.IMHO.
 
#5
To maintain their status under the Geneva convention the medical personnel can only guard/protect their medical installations, casualties and themselves. As to their use to guard sensitive locations this would be a breech of the geneva convention and their CO/2IC would be slightly if not totally crazy to allow it !
 
#6
Im aware of regular RAMC QM staff that manned the towers near the BMH who were told to remove their red crosses.

So Im not surprised if other units have done/still tell others to.
 
#7
Thanks Pox_Dr, would that be the sort of order it would be legal to disobey? I find myself intrigued by this subject. I just spent the evening in hospital with Mrs Steamy (who is great with child) and got chatting to a TA medic who is on the ward there - got a similar story off him regarding time in the balkans. Is this common then, and do the gung-ho ossifers referred to by chokinthechicken not be well advised to reconsider if so?
 
#8
I don’t think its common practice but I have seen it happen on more than one occasion.

I’m thinking of Infantry Bandsman doing stretcher/RMA duties with arm bands one moment, then unit security force the next minus their arm bands.

More often you see this sort of thing when other arms are part of a medical unit.

I think it’s down to individual COs & RSM interpretation of the rules.

I would think you could challenge the order, but you would get all the usual sh*t that goes with it. A senior may well have a we discussion at the time, but I’m sure most juniors would just do what they are told for the quite life.
 
#9
As I understand LOAC, medical personnel are protected persons while they carry out their medical duties. In order to facilitate identification of their protected status, they wear the red cross armband. I can see no objection to their being employed on other, combatant, duties, so long as their armband is removed (i.e. no perfidious use is made of the red cross emblem). Therefore, I would hold that the order to remove armbands and 'stag on' is perfectly legal, and there would be no basis for refusing it (less, I suppose, if your presence was required at a medical post, and your absence from that post might contribute to greater suffering / higher likelihood of death of casualties - although I think this is a grey area).

As I understand it, this is why battlefield ambulances have concealable red crosses (so they can be used for resupply if not in use as ambulances). This would seem to be nothing to do with COs being gung-ho, but more to do with an efficient utilisation of limited manpower resources across the formation (i.e. what's the point of using infantry to stag on a field hospital if only half the MAs are needed to treat casualties - get the other 50% of MAs to stag on and release the infantry for patrolling).
 
#10
Gotta disagree with nasch here.

Trained medics are treated as a special case under the Geneva convention.

They are classed as non-combatants and may only carry arms to defend themselves and their patients.

Other troops carrying out medical duties ie stretcher carriers and the like are only protected whilst wearing a red cross/cresent/lion and sun but actual medics are (legally) protected at all times. In fact under the convention non-combat members of the military, such as medics or chaplains, who engage in combat; and soldiers who fight out of uniform are not protected by the convention and if captured are not POW and can be tried, convicted and executed by a civil court.

Question for the medics on here though. Does your MOD90 show that you are medical personnel or is it a bog standard one? Or do you get a 2nd ID card for ops??



Edited to add the relevant articles from the ICHR

Art. 24. Medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, staff exclusively engaged in the administration of medical units and establishments, as well as chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.
Art. 25. Members of the armed forces specially trained for employment, should the need arise, as hospital orderlies, nurses or auxiliary stretcher-bearers, in the search for or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded and sick shall likewise be respected and protected if they are carrying out these duties at the time when they come into contact with the enemy or fall into his hands.
 
#12
Yep, we get an FIdent 107a. A cardboard effort, reproducable by any primary school pupil. Chad photo mandatory.

Just my two-penneth, The last few posts have discussed wether it is proper to have medics do this or that. The truth is that the Geneva convention can be manipulated quite significantly, this happens on a daily basis by politicians and senior officers. It also happens at a lesser level by commanders on the ground. Perhaps it shouldn't, but we all know it does. Which brings me to the original question, is it possible that these stories were true? I would say so, given the obligatory exaggeration which comes with all stories like this, I have seen many occasions where soldiers of all types have been put in inappropriate positions, either because of a bloody minded Sgt Maj or because there was simply no-one else around to do it.
I find that the ability to throw away the rule book at our convenience is what makes us quintisentially British, enabling us to get the job done. Long may it continue! :D
 
#14
INVICTUS said:
Yep, we get an FIdent 107a. A cardboard effort, reproducable by any primary school pupil. Chad photo mandatory.

Just my two-penneth, The last few posts have discussed wether it is proper to have medics do this or that. The truth is that the Geneva convention can be manipulated quite significantly, this happens on a daily basis by politicians and senior officers. It also happens at a lesser level by commanders on the ground. Perhaps it shouldn't, but we all know it does. Which brings me to the original question, is it possible that these stories were true? I would say so, given the obligatory exaggeration which comes with all stories like this, I have seen many occasions where soldiers of all types have been put in inappropriate positions, either because of a bloody minded Sgt Maj or because there was simply no-one else around to do it.
I find that the ability to throw away the rule book at our convenience is what makes us quintisentially British, enabling us to get the job done. Long may it continue! :D
So having been issued the said "this guy is a medic" card you are technically a non combatant and should not be tasked with guarding anything except medical areas.

Of course this doesn't mean that you won't be. I can belive the stories. It wouldn't be the first time (or the last) that the powers that be have ignored/blatantly abused the rules when it comes to getting the job done.
 
#15
FIdent107 does not indicate that the holder is a non-combatant. It is intended to ensure that if captured, the holder is treated IAW the relevant Geneva Convention.
 
#16
Steven said:
Gotta disagree with nasch here.

Trained medics are treated as a special case under the Geneva convention.

They are classed as non-combatants and may only carry arms to defend themselves and their patients.
Yup, I was clearly talking crap before :oops:

However, for the examples cited...

a) Would RAMC QM staff be trained medics and issued with FIDENT109? (I don't know, but they might not be).

b) Depending on the timing of the incidents, my understanding is that, since the handover of power to the Iraqi government, a state of armed conflict / occupation no longer exists, therefore forces are not bound by the Geneva convention.

But please feel free to correct me again if I'm talking crap again!
 
#17
ViroBono said:
FIdent107 does not indicate that the holder is a non-combatant. It is intended to ensure that if captured, the holder is treated IAW the relevant Geneva Convention.
Misunderstanding on someones part here. Probably me.

I took it that the FIdent107 identifies the holder as a member of the medical staff. If so then technically they are classed as non combatants under the GC.

If the card doesn't do that then what is it for?

Nasch

Yup, I was clearly talking crap before

However, for the examples cited...

a) Would RAMC QM staff be trained medics and issued with FIDENT109? (I don't know, but they might not be).

b) Depending on the timing of the incidents, my understanding is that, since the handover of power to the Iraqi government, a state of armed conflict / occupation no longer exists, therefore forces are not bound by the Geneva convention.

But please feel free to correct me again if I'm talking crap again!
My pleasure :D Only know anything about this stuff 'cos I had to teach it as IDT on far too many occasions and tried not to bore the guys to death. Didn't work though.
 
#18
Steven said:
... In fact under the convention non-combat members of the military, such as medics or chaplains, who engage in combat; ... are not protected by the convention and if captured are not POW and can be tried, convicted and executed by a civil court.
Apologies for coming late to this interesting discussion, but I wonder what crime against LOAC these medics or chaplains would be committing, if in an extreme situation (eg exfiltrating from a position being over-run) they abandon their protected status and fight as ordinary soldiers, without protected emblems, distinctive uniforms etc? Is it perfidy to fight if you are not claiming protected status at the time?

On another point, to my mind the term non-combatant is more correctly applied to non-combatant civilians rather than to medical personnel, who I suggest come into a different category of having protected status. Military medical personnel are members of their country's armed forces.
 
#20
hackle said:
Steven said:
... In fact under the convention non-combat members of the military, such as medics or chaplains, who engage in combat; ... are not protected by the convention and if captured are not POW and can be tried, convicted and executed by a civil court.
Apologies for coming late to this interesting discussion, but I wonder what crime against LOAC these medics or chaplains would be committing, if in an extreme situation (eg exfiltrating from a position being over-run) they abandon their protected status and fight as ordinary soldiers, without protected emblems, distinctive uniforms etc? Is it perfidy to fight if you are not claiming protected status at the time?

On another point, to my mind the term non-combatant is more correctly applied to non-combatant civilians rather than to medical personnel, who I suggest come into a different category of having protected status. Military medical personnel are members of their country's armed forces.

A medic should just sit on the side lines of the fight, tending to the injured of all sides wearing and waving a red cross and wait until it is all over.

Again according to the convention a medic/padre/others of that type are not allowed to give up those protections.

Art. 7. Wounded and sick, as well as members of the medical personnel and chaplains, may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.
Technical non-combatants AKA protected persons..
 

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