Building a more effective, responsive Navy Medicine enterprise

By Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, chief of staff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Earlier this year Vice Adm. Nathan directed senior Navy Medicine leadership to explore realignment options that would result in a more effective, efficient and responsive organization. 

Over the past several months, Navy Medicine leadership discussed and prioritized organizational opportunities and challenges to build a better and more integrated command around Navy and Marine Corps leadership.  As a result, we are engaged in executing a realignment plan for the Navy Medicine enterprise that will meet these requirements.

The realignment is designed to enhance accountability, command and control, and ensure representation of Navy equities both across the enterprise and throughout the Fleet.

Our job in Navy Medicine is to support the forward deployed force and ensure personnel readiness.  Navy Medicine keeps the nation’s naval forces medically ready to operate around the world in support of U.S. national objectives. Our main mission is support to the warfighter and we’re in the fight to build an organization that can do just that.

This realignment is also closely linked to the SG’s strategic vision for Navy Medicine.  We must concentrate on bringing more value and improving jointness while maintaining a high state of medical readiness for our naval forces that our nation demands.  As the SG often says, when the world dials 9-1-1, it is not to make an appointment and we are taking the steps necessary to ensure we are ready to answer without delay.

The biggest change underway involved re-scoping the organization, responsibilities and structure of what was Navy Medicine Support Command (NMSC).  NMSC and its leadership did an outstanding job throughout their existence, but as the needs of our customers change and the dynamics of the environment we operate in changes, we also have to flex and adapt to meet those shifting requirements. 

So in July 2012, NMSC was renamed and re-scoped from a Regional command into Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC) with a primary focus on education and training.  The command is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and has detachments in Jacksonville, Fla., and Bethesda, Md.  NMETC will work closely with BUMED to ensure our medical personnel continue to be equipped with the best training military medicine can provide.  They will also work closely with leadership at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) in San Antonio to ensure our Navy personnel are well-supported and that we maintain seamless and focused training for our corpsmen who keep our Sailors and Marines medically fit and ready. 

Many of NMSC’s former responsibilities will be absorbed by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) codes and many of NMSC’s lower echelon commands will be functionally realigned to codes within BUMED including the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center which will be realigned under BUMED M3. The realignment also established two new codes, M2 to manage all research and development and M7 for education and training.

Rear Adm. Bruce Doll has been appointed as BUMED M2 and will report to BUMED in October 2012.  Rear Adm. William Roberts, who is reporting as the Commandant of METC next month will also serve as BUMED M7.   

All personnel impacted by the realignment have been notified and implementation of plan is underway. We are in the process of developing a webpage on the Navy Medicine main website with the new organizational structure and answers to frequently asked questions.  We anticipate that the webpage will go live in early October 2012 and will announce it to the enterprise once complete.  Further, any questions regarding the realignment can be sent to the “Ask the REORG” email address at AsktheREORG@med.navy.mil.  This email is designed to work much like the “Ask the BRAC” and is being monitored by points of contacts from each code.

Our people are our most valuable asset and they enable us to meet our missions.  With that, we are committed to making the realignment process as transparent and seamless as possible for all of Navy Medicine. However, we will need the agility of our staff to make this effort successful and ask for your patience as we continue to develop and implement the plan for the future of Navy Medicine.

On behalf of the Surgeon General, I thank you in advance for your support and continued leadership as we build a better future for Navy Medicine.