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Hmmm…an action book about combat medics! Not sure I can go along with that. My idea of a combat medic is a person fully trained in the science of medicine and the practice of trama-care in emergency situations. They should not, in my opinion, but directly involved in combat unless that combat is self defense. Otherwise, it is up to the unit they are attached/assigned to to provide for their security. This book attempts to promote combat medics who fight while attempting to treat other wounded soldiers. It might be possible, but highly improbable. I would prefer that medically trained personnel stick with what they are trained to do. That way, the wounded men and women under me, become their priority in the fight not the enemy.

Yet this book appears to be the start of creating a corps of Combat Medics while the title of the series seems to only refer to the medical evacuation aspect. I don’t think I would want an exclusive group of only medical personnel wondering around in my AOR. They would become a high value target by themselves and the enemy would be targeting them on a regular basis once their location were found. Yeah, well, medics aren’t supposed to be targeted in war, but I can’t guarantee anything the enemy will or won’t do. I just know that if a combat medic squad as depicted in this book existed, they would probably be followed wherever they went and as soon as they began a triage of my wounded, they would come under serious attack! War is hell!

Squad Commander Andrew Ritchie is an interesting main character. He’s apparently a highly trained medical doctor although it’s never really stated that he has a medical degree. He was a doctor for a civilian mining operation and had some extensive training. But, he left that life and is now with the Coalition Marines as what he calls a “grunt” and that’s what he wanted to be. But, his medical skills come to the forefront when keeps fixing up his troops so they can continue the fight or get back into it with little recovery time. That kind of skill doesn’t go unnoticed and he’s finally grabbed for this experimental new unit, the Valkyrie Medevac Corps although most of the time it’s shortened to Valkyrie Corps. Now it gets kind of confusing. He’s told that he’s a “Special Ops First Lieutenant with paygrade equivalent general force Captain.” That doesn’t make sense at all. If they wanted to pay him more then, just promote him to Captain and be done with it. I think I would have objected to this, not that it would have done any good. Then in the next paragraph he’s told, “…get treated as an officer, non-commissioned.” Again, that makes no sense. If he’s a First Lieutenant, then he’s commissioned, not a NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer). I think the rank structure needs a little work.

Anyway, he’s still a squad commander (should be Squad Leader) and he’s assigned some other medical personnel plus a maintenance tech. These people will be learning to fight and operate in armor specially built to assist them in handling their medical jobs and treat casualties. So, now they are galavanting around this part of space along with the Marines. They are assigned missions which involves supporting direct combat troops which they do pretty well, except they tend to get into the action a little too much for my liking. It seems that one or the other of Lt Richie’s people are always getting hurt and having to be treated as casualty in every mission. That means someone has to tend to them and that basically takes two medical personnel out of the action with a third person needed to protect these two! It seems that these fancy tactical/medical suits makes them bigger targets than necessary. I don’t think it would work just they way the story says.

And then we had that antagonistic attitude of Captain Vilipend. I don’t know what his problem was or is, but it’s not probably going to be that way in real life. This guy is an Marine(?) Captain and apparently his only responsibility is the Valkyrie Squad, so why is he even needed? Lt. Ritchie trains all his troops. Captain Vilipend just gets in the way with his attitude and pretty much causes most of their problems. I didn’t like this part of the story at all. Major Yashima, now his character fit the job. He didn’t have to know what everyone did and didn’t try to get in their way, but he certainly expected results. That’s all a leader needs to do so Captain Vilipend was definitely not needed to the story. The other characters were all OK, and they seemed to be a good fit with the rest of the story.

Lastly, I didn’t particularly care for this book in that I don’t like to read about doctor stuff and all that comes with it. I’m not a doctor and can barely put on a band-aide, but I don’t have problems with medical personnel attached or assigned to combat units. They are there for a specific purpose and that’s to treat the units injured or wounded. I don’t want them fighting unless it’s in self defense. Arming them up in some kind of super armor only makes them big targets and they are too valuable assets to the entire unit to get wiped out because they stood out on the battlefield. I doubt that I’ll be reading any more of these books. Fancy idea, but wrong people. Medics are medics and nothing else.

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