Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) is a 2-day course on handling the acutely injured patient. It has been developed by and is directed by the American College of Surgeons, and teaches a systematic approach to the care of the injured patient. It is relied upon as a teaching tool throughout the active and reserve military medical departments. This article will review its strengths and weaknesses, and will show that it is not an adequate "stand-alone" training tool. ATLS does not address the combat casualty, nor the combat scenario. Special courses must be utilized to train military medical providers for the conflicts and casualties of the future.