By Vice Adm. C. Forrest Faison, III
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
On behalf of the entire Navy Medicine family, it is my honor to congratulate our Navy Medical Service Corps as they celebrate 69 years of honoring the trust placed in our hands by our nation.
Since its inception in 1947, the men and women of our Medical Service Corps have continuously served America’s sons and daughters, providing the very best care our nation can offer to those who have sacrificed to defend our freedom.
From the first 251 “plank owners” commissioned in 1947 and who served in one of the first four specialties of supply and administration, medical allied sciences, optometry and pharmacy, the Navy’s Medical Service Corps has grown to more than 3,100 active duty and Reserve officers in 31 specialties.
From scientists and environmental health specialists defeating hemorrhagic fevers and infectious diseases, to researchers, medical providers and administrators, the Medical Service Corps is truly our most diverse corps.
In their brief history, Medical Service Corps officers have been awarded one Navy Cross and 15 Bronze Stars. Today, our Medical Service Corps officers serve around the world in our military treatment facilities, conduct cutting edge research in our labs, and deploy on our ships and with the Marines. Our Medical Service Corps officers are among the busiest health care professionals in humanitarian missions like Continuing Promise and Pacific Partnership.
Because of the men and women who comprise our Medical Service Corps, families around our nation sleep soundly knowing that Navy Medicine is medically-ready to honor the trust to return America’s sons and daughters home safely.
To the 3,100 men and women serving in our Medical Service Corps, thank you for your steadfast dedication, compassion and selfless sacrifice. Happy 69th birthday, shipmates! I’m proud to serve with you.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published August 3, 2016 on Navy Medicine Live.