Navy Nurse Corps celebrates its 104th birthday

By Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

As the Navy Nurse Corps celebrates its 104th year of service, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you on behalf of Navy Medicine and a grateful nation.

Since 1908, the men and women of the Navy Nurse Corps have honorably served in times of peace and war, at home, abroad, and on the front lines. Selflessly deploying around the world and serving in harm’s way, Navy Nurses continue to provide compassionate health care that sets the world’s standards. Navy Nurses are integral to our Force Health Protection mission, ensuring warrior readiness and wellness are at the top of our operational objective.

From the original 20 nurses that were selected as members of the Navy Nurse Corps, who became known as the “Sacred Twenty,” the size of the Navy Nurse Corps has grown over the years, peaking to 11,000 members during World War II.

Today we honor the brilliant achievements, courage, and commitment of Navy Nurses. Nurse Corps Officers fly with the wounded from battle-torn areas, work in the fleet and hospital ships, establish native nursing schools, clinics, and small hospitals in remote areas of the world, conduct life saving research, practice, teach, supervise, and administer or command Navy medical treatment facilities all over the world. Their continued work and dedication have earned them a prominent place in the United States Navy.

Today we honor and celebrate the men and women of the Navy Nurse Corps around the world, who ensure our nation has a medically fit and ready force, along with their families, and retirees. To the almost 4,000 Active Duty and Reservist Nurse Corps personnel, I thank you for your service and for the sacrifice of you and your families.

Happy Birthday Nurse Corps!