On behalf of the entire Navy Medicine family, it is my privilege and honor to congratulate our Navy Medical Corps as they celebrate 145 years of service, providing the very best care our nation can offer to those who have sacrificed to defend our freedom.
On March 3, 1871, the 41st congress enacted the naval appropriations act, establishing the Medical Corps as an official staff corps. From then on, the Medical Corps has made a tremendous impact on Navy Medicine and our nation’s history, while paving the path to the future of medical readiness and world-class care. Around the world and in every generation, men and women who otherwise would have died went home to their loved ones and families because of the dedication and commitment of the Navy Medical Corps.
In 1943, Navy physicians were the first to use blood plasma in field surgery. That same year they were also the first to use penicillin for treatment of gas gangrene, pneumonia, and local infections. In the 1960s, they developed a quick-thawing method to treat frostbite and a glucose-based oral rehydration therapy that was monumental for the treatment of cholera.
Today, Navy physicians serve around the world in support of combat operations, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance missions, and in our military treatment facilities. They serve at sea, above the sea, under the sea, with the Marine Corps, with Special Operations, in our hospitals and clinics, in our research labs, our training programs, and a host of other locations where Navy Medicine has the watch. Wherever they are needed, the physicians of the Navy Medical Corps are there to save lives and honor the trust placed in our hands that we will do all in our power to safely return home America’s sons and daughters.
As we look to the future, the Medical Corps is paving the way in biomedical research, medical education and training, and patient care. With unprecedented board certification rates, our Navy physicians remain ready and capable to care for those entrusted to our care. They serve, often at great sacrifice, to care for those entrusted to us when they need us most. Because of them and the entire Navy Medicine team, families around our nation sleep soundly knowing that Navy Medicine is on duty.
To everyone serving in our Medical Corps, I want to thank you for your sacrifice, your steadfast dedication, compassion, and selfless service as you care for those who need us most. Happy 145th birthday!
C. Forrest Faison III, Surgeon General