Military Health Care – Medical Category

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – Medical Category


“Quack” Stories

MEDICAL CATEGORY – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

During my long service in the Navy – I “enhanced” a lot of things.

I enhanced my academic qualifications.

I enhanced my knowledge.

I enhanced my expertise.

I enhanced my world-view.

I enhanced my personality

And – I even enhanced my physical attributes – especially my weight.

But – the one thing I could not enhance was my “medical category”.

When I joined the Navy as an Officer – my Medical Category was S1 A1

And – when I retired from the Navy – 34 years later – my Medical Category was still S1 A1

I could not achieve even a small “incremental enhancement” in my Medical Category – even temporarily.

Not even for one moment could I achieve a slightly “higher” Medical Category like “S2 A1” or “S2 A2” – of course I never dreamt of achieving greater heights like “S3 A3” “S4 A4” or “S5 A5”

Throughout my entire Naval career – my Medical Category remained consistently constant at S1 A1” – the “lowest” Medical Category.

By strange military logic – if you achieved a “higher” Medical Category like S2 A2 S3 A3 S4 A4etc – the Doctors said that you were in Low Medical Category (LMC).

How can S1 A1” be High Medical Category – and – S3 A3” be Low Medical Category…?

Is the number 3 lower than the number 1…? 

But then – Mathematics has never been a strong point of Doctors – even at 10+2 level – Mathematics is not required if you intend studying Medicine.

The only time I was hospitalized – towards the end of my career – was for Malaria – and I thought they would “enhance” my Medical Category – to S2 A2 – maybe to S3 A2 – or even to S3 A3 – or even higher.

But nothing happened.

After a couple of days – when my Malaria began to abate – and just I was beginning to enjoy my stay in hospital – they suddenly discharged me – and threw me out of the hospital – straight back to work – as they were short of beds due the sudden arrival of a few “serious” cases.

And – while discharging me unceremoniously from hospital – the Navy Doctors did not even have the courtesy or decency to enhance my Medical Category.

So – I remained in my lifelong “lowly” and unimpressive Medical Category of S1 A1

Yes – I remained a lowly S1 A1 from “womb to tomb” (to put it metaphorically).

Well – if there is a Navy Doctor reading this – maybe he will be able to explain the significance of medical categories ranging from S1 A1 to S5 A5 – with all permutations and combinations like S2 A1 S2 A2 S3 A2 etc etc

Since the Army likes to do things differently.

So they have named their medical categories from SHAPE 1SHAPE 2SHAPE 3SHAPE 4 and SHAPE 5 etc

And – there are even more possibilities for permutations and combinations like S1 H2 A3 P4 E5 etc etc – to make it all the more confusing for Army Officers – who are most confused anyway.

Now – this Medical Category called SHAPE has nothing to do with the “shape” of your body.

This is evident from the fact that you will see many “out of shape” Army “Pongos” in Medical Category SHAPE1.

Will some “Fauji” Doctor be good enough to tell us all about “SHAPE” – and please enlighten us on why some SHAPE 1 “Faujis” look so much “out of shape” 

In the Air Force they call their medical categories A1 G1 A2 G2 …. A5 G5etc.

It is all very confusing and puzzling to me.

“Fauji” Military Doctors keep changing the colour of their uniforms – like chameleons – as they “flit and frolic” about – between the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Basically – all “Fauji” doctors are the same – and all of them belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

I have not understood one things.

The 3 Defence Services – Army Navy and Air Force – all have the same AMC Doctors.

Then – why does each Service have its own style of Medical Categories:

“SHAPE” for the Army

“S1 A1 S2 A2… etc for the Navy

“A1 G1 A2 G2… etc for the Air Force…?

The 3 Defence Services have the same Doctors – but different Medical Categories.

Is this one more feather in the cap of “jointmanship”…?


The Story of the Officer with a Perpetual “Medical Category”

“Enhancing” your medical category gives you a lot of advantages – like it did to my friend “D”.

“D” was a master at malingering.

An ex-NDA officer – on the very first day of our training – “D” was missing from morning Physical Training (PT).

When questioned about his absence from PT by the Senior-Under-Training-Officer (SUTO) – “D” answered triumphantly: “I am a medical category.”

(In colloquial Naval parlance – this meant that “D” had an “enhanced” medical category).

During his entire training period – his “medical category” was his all powerful universal “trump card” to be excused from any painful activity that “D” wanted to avoid – like PT, games, divisions, drill, parades, cross country runs, route marches, outward bound camps etc.

Even Senior Officers were wary of “D” because of his “enhanced” medical category – and they avoided bullshitting him – lest he drop dead or have a fit or something serious happen him – and they be blamed for it.

The biggest mystery was none of us knew what was wrong with him – no one knew for what “disease” “D” had got the medical category – from where he had got his medical category – and what exactly was his medical category.

Maybe he had managed to “enhance” his medical category at the previous training ship or unit – or maybe in NDA – or maybe even before that at the SSB – or maybe“D” was born with a medical category.

“D” looked perfectly healthy – and whenever we asked him about his medical category – he told us not to be too inquisitive.

In fact – I once suspected whether he had an “enhanced” medical category at all – but then – the way he flaunted it around – I thought that there must be some truth in it.

Of course – his “enhanced” medical category did not prevent “D” from drinking copious amounts of booze and eating all types of food to his heart’s content every afternoon and evening – or generally enjoying himself to the hilt – and having a jolly good ball of a time.

His medical category did not prevent him from getting promoted – and “D” got nominated for all the good training courses.

And – of course – he got the best of ships – and avoided all the hardship appointments – thanks to his “enhanced” medical category.

Whenever he wanted to avoid anything inconvenient – “D” used his Trump Card – “Medical Category”

Inspired by “D” – I tried my best to “enhance” my medical category – but I could not succeed – and throughout my long Navy career – I remained at the “rock-bottom” medical category S1 A1

Once – during my Annual Medical Examination (AME) – a Navy Doctor said that I was overweight – and I thought he was going to “enhance” my Medical Category.

But he did not do so.

The Navy Doctor sent me in a spin – he made me do all sorts of medical tests – he got me examined by all sorts of specialists – and then – the wise Navy Doctor delivered his final verdict: “Officer is Asymptomatic. He has been advised to reduce weight. Officer is fit in Medical Category S1 A1”…

I was declared S1 A1” 

I was back to “Square 1”

I have not understood the “Military Medical Category Mystery”

Have you…?

(Disclaimer: I am totally clueless on the subject of “military medical categories” – so if you have any queries – please contact your nearest “Fauji” Doctor)


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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  1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Spoof was written by me Vikram Karve almost 2 years ago on 16 June 2014 and earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in myAcademic and Creative Writing Journal blog at url link:  and

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Sampashree pradhan Says:

    Sir my husband will be invalid out with a s2a2 category in army.he is diagnosed with schizophrenia.sir pls tell me can he get a job after retirement.pls and sir.i m too much my kids are too small.


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