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Sunday February 23, 2020

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The military serves in all possible human spheres of habitation and beyond. So the military person, belonging to any remote village anywhere in the country, is liable to serve, and mostly does so to, at the opposite end of origin. So, for example, if he or she is from the deep desert of Rajasthan, they will most certainly be found on duty at high altitude posts in remote Arunachal Pradesh. This has happened in the past and is certain to happen in the future. This spectrum of deployment puts enormous stresses on the body and the military logistics.

For the long time, logistics in the military was limited to analysis of equipment under use in that particular post or zone of service. For the first time, Team DSA looks at the human aspect of logistics, and in this case, the field of medical service in the military. The only time military medicine personnel come into limelight is when there is an incident that makes it a breaking news. A VIP who gets admitted to a military hospital or a soldier in an extreme scenario, i.e., late Hanumanthappa and his rescue from an avalanche in the Siachen sector.

Military medicine is a far more complex field than merely attending to news making emergencies. Every day of the year, round the clock, the medical corps personnel are taking care of combat, support services, and their families, across the country and in all circumstances. So, while some will be delivering babies of military wives, others will be on duty in a submarine on a long range patrol. And, their service people will be patrolling the high Himalayan peaks with a combat ready platoon, while some will be manning posts in the highest known battle zone, Siachen.

All these duty fulfilling deployments happen without the slightest hint of publicity, or self-pity. It is simply taken as what it is, duty under oath. And, the military medical corps takes the Hippocrates oath very seriously. So seriously that they are willing to serve for it under any physical or psychological circumstances. Their primary task or mission is to save lives, serving in an institution that is actually authorised to take lives. It is one of the unknown truths that medical personnel have been known to save enemy lives too, for they are under oath to save lives.

Which really is a remarkable commitment to duty and service. To mark the truly unique nature of their service, Team DSA produces this current issue as an ode to Army Medical Corps. Most countrymen are not aware of their nature of service, or the complexity of their deployment, and in some cases, even the extreme dangers they face. Some have made the supreme sacrifice, whilst many carry battle wounds. Another unique aspect of the AMC is that its personnel can actually change the colour of their uniform if they so choose within the three services. Given their spectrum of deployment it is only fair they get the final call on which colour they’d prefer to wear.

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