This film is an introduction to combat psychiatry for medical officers, line officers, and corpsmen. At sick call the night before a battle, men present with physical symptoms such as upset stomach and headache that signal their mental distress. The medical officer decides, based on his own examination and on information gathered from officers or men in the patient's unit, whether the patient should be sent back to his unit or evacuated. The importance of emotional support is shown. The second reel of this film shows the medical officers and corpsmen dealing with after-action combat fatigue and other casualties.In examining and interviewing the combat fatigue casualties, the medical officers identify those who simply need rest and reassurance versus those having a serious reaction that may require removal from active combat. The implications of this are addressed--if sent to the rear, a soldier may lose his identification with his own fighting group and develop symptoms that will unconsciously justify his escape from combat. The types of breakdowns that signal that a man should never again be sent to a frontline unit are shown and discussed. The basic principle of combat psychiatry is to treat as far forward as reasonable and return to duty as quickly as possible. Shots include: activity in and around a very small U.S. Marine encampment in barren, rocky terrain; medical officers treating Marines at this same camp.
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Black and white
Received: Apr. 1, 1969 as a donation from the U.S. Navy.