Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn McClymond

Second Advisor

Dr. David Bell

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Bounds


Combat medics’ personal identities can become indistinguishable from the professional responsibility they have to provide care to a particular group, as a result of the official training and unofficial acculturation they receive in the military. This constructs an intensified moral world in which medics live for a time and sets the stage for a specific kind of moral experience in combat, one grounded in a sense of personal responsibility for the physical well-being of their comrades. When combat medics are unable to fulfill their professional role, this can cause a distinct form of moral trauma, because they have also failed to fulfill a personal sense of purpose.