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A decade of intense combat in two theaters has taught us many lessons about what works and what does not in the effort to accomplish that all-important mission of saving lives in battle. A severely injured Soldier today has about twice the likelihood of surviving his wounds compared to Soldiers in wars as recent as Vietnam. That progress is the result of many things: better tactics and weapons, better body armor and helmets, better trained and fitter Soldiers. But, the introduction of tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) throughout the Army has certainly been an important part of that improvement.
TCCC is fundamentally different from civilian care. It is the thoughtful integration of tactics and medicine, but to make it work takes a different set of skills and equipment, and every Soldier and leader needs to understand it and practice it.
This handbook is the result of years of careful study of the care of wounded Soldiers, painstaking research by medics and physicians, and the ability of leaders at all levels to see and understand the lessons being learned and the willingness to make the changes in equipment, training, and doctrine needed to improve the performance of the Army Health System. It is the best guidance we have at the time of publication, but new information, new techniques, or new equipment will drive changes in the future. Be assured that these performance improvement efforts will continue as long as American Soldiers go in harm’s way.