The Battalion Aid Station
is a medical section
within a battalion
's support company in the U.S. Army
. As such, it is the forward-most medically-staffed treatment location. During peacetime it is led by a Medical Operations Officer, a lieutenant
in the Medical Service Corps (U.S. Army)
. During combat, a commissioned medical doctor with the Army Medical Corps
may assume leadership of the platoon and direct medical operations. However, the Medical Service Officer normally retains control of training, planning, and administration of the platoon while the doctor in charge directs medical care. The primary mission of the Battalion Aid Station is to collect the sick and wounded from the battalion, stabilize the patients' condition, and provide emergency medical evacuation
to the combat support hospital
or other medical treatment facility.
The Battalion Aid Station belongs to, and is an organic component of, the unit it supports. It may be split into two functional units for up to 24 hours, the Main Aid Station consisting of the medical doctor and three 68W combat medics and a Forward Aid Station consisting of the Physician Assistant and three more 68Ws. This allows the section to support more than one unit or care as the unit advances or withdraws.
According to the Geneva Convention, military medical facilities, equipment and personnel are non-combatants and may not be attacked as long as they remain in a non combatant role. Medical personnel are allowed weapons for the purpose of self and patient defense.