The United States Army pioneered these lifesaving techniques in Burma at the end of World War II, with Sikorsky R-4 helicopters. They established semi-permanent field hospitals immediately behind the front lines, which allowed wounded to receive complete medical treatment only after a short helicopter flight. The technique was depicted in the MASH film and M*A*S*H television series, set in the Korean War less than a decade later, where Bell 47 helicopters were often used. In modern American military terminology, medevac is often differentiated from casualty evacuation (casevac). In this context, medevac refers to the moving of a patient either from the point of injury, or a casualty collection point, to a medical facility or between the different levels of care with en route medical care whereas casevac has limited or no en route care and medical equipment. Casevac is heavily utilized by the United States Marine Corps and manned by United States Navy Hospital Corpsman; its helicopters are combat aircraft and will, as needed, land in "hot zones" medevac helicopters would not, due to hostile fire. During Vietnam some Medevacs aircraft were restricted from landing into these "hot zones" due to heavy enemy fire while DUSTOFF units kept coming. Accordingly, medevac aircraft are normally modified aircraft with lifesaving equipment on board as well as trained medical personnel as part of the aircrew. The aircraft are marked with the Red Cross/Crescent, and as such, covered by the Geneva Convention, thereby allowing the aircrew to only carry personal weapons. In the United States military, the medevac mission is performed primarily by the United States Army.
Perhaps we free citizens of America need to SCREAM a little a louder to get the attention of the "mis" Leaders we have running our present and future world. The fact remains that the Gulf is still under attack and the economic repercussions are yet to be felt. Like a wounded soldier whose injuries are profusely bleeding internally and externally while the surgical staff argues over who made the bullet and the effects of gunpowder rather than stopping the hemorrhaging. This would be ludicrous and anybody acting as such would be immediately replace. What ever happened to the title "Commander in Chief"? Where is the example from the top? Why aren’t we treating the Gulf oil spill and our plummeting economy with the same measure as those men and women serving today and in the past responding the aid of wounded soldiers on the front line and within the battle itself? Another slogan used by “DustOff” units during the Vietnam War is "So Others May Live" for courageous and selfless efforts to save others. Often we find such great examples and traditions within the ranks of our beloved military that makes us all swell up with pride and admiration for the spirit of heart and measure of character that we all wish to achieve. Why is this absent at the top of our chain of command?