Fake News: Army's new 'Holistic Medics' Do NOT Treat Gunshot Wounds With Crystals, Essential Oils

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Reports that the U.S. Army created a new type of "holistic medic" a.k.a. "Complementary Medicine Specialist (69W)" are not true. The U.S. military will continue to provide evidence-based medical treatments to its members on and off the battlefield and will not engage in any kinds of alternative medicine practices. So where did the rumor come from? The story (archived here) originated on the satirical website Duffelblog under the title "Army's new 'Holistic Medics' treat gunshot wounds with crystals, essential oils" and it opened as follows:

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- In an effort to match the broad range of medical treatments available to the civilian population, the U.S. Army has introduced a new breed of battlefield medic, the service announced Friday.

The new MOS, Complementary Medicine Specialist (69W), or "holistic medic," will be trained in a variety of alternative medical treatments, ranging from aromatherapy to interventional prayer, and will be authorized to prescribe medications like megavitamins and homeopathic dilutions.

Regardless if you believe alternative therapies actually work or not, there is no truth to the story that the U.S. Army has actually taken them up.

holisticmedicine.jpg

The website Duffelblog.com is a military-themed satire website which sports following legal disclaimer on its 'about' page:

Legal

We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm.

All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

They are sometimes refered to as the military version of The Onion but that same 'about' page points out:

Duffel Blog is sometimes referred to as "The military version of The Onion," but this is a misnomer. The gaffe was cleared up in May 2012 when Duffel Blog staff successfully conducted an airborne assault on the offices of The Onion News Network so that others would know "The Onion was actually the civilian version of Duffel Blog."

So don't fall for any of their stories, including this one...

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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