A Message from the Navy Surgeon General: Celebrating 147 years of the Medical Corps

Official U.S. Navy photo

It is my privilege and honor to congratulate our Navy Medical Corps on behalf of our entire Navy Medicine family, as they celebrate 147 years of service to our Nation, our Navy and Marine Corps team, and their families.

Since our Nation’s founding, and well before the formal establishment of the Navy Medical Corps on March 3, 1871, Navy physicians have repeatedly served where they were needed most; right next to our Sailors and Marines.  Always there, in 1813, a ship’s surgeon was on USS Chesapeake as she engaged HMS Shannon and had 65 casualties early in the fight.  Always there, in 1944, Navy physicians participated in the Okinawa amphibious landing and stabilized and cared for hundreds wounded in combat.

Today, they remain steadfast as a ready medical force.  Our Navy Medical Corps officers have continued to serve with both Army and Marine Corps expeditionary medical and embedded training teams.  They continue to operate on and from the sea, providing primary and surgical care for the fleet and our troops in combat zones.  Their efforts have helped define the highest standard of care and with their health care teams, they have saved thousands of lives throughout our Nation’s history.

Their glory is not only defined by their operational service or their well-known sacrifices.  At home and in peacetime, they have spent countless hours ensuring the Navy and Marine Corps team remains medically ready.

In recognition of their service, we take note of their innumerable personal sacrifices.  They serve because they understand they are part of something larger than themselves.  They will do whatever it takes to care for America’s sons and daughters who have volunteered to go into harm’s way.

Expertise and innovation are the hallmark of the Navy Medical Corps and will help our enterprise evolve.  Our future is bright and we will continue to advance our skills and strive toward higher reliability to continue to meet the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps team.  The Navy Medical Corps will remain ready and help lead the way at home, afloat, or on foreign shores.

To everyone who served before us or who is currently serving in our Navy Medical Corps, I want to thank you for your sacrifices, your steadfast dedication, compassion, and selfless services as you care for those who need you most.  Happy 147th birthday shipmates!

— Vice Admiral C. Forrest Faison III, Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.//