By Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Since May 13, 1908, the men and women of the Navy Nurse Corps have honorably served and evolved with the nation’s needs in times of war and peace – at home, abroad, and on the front lines. They continue to selflessly volunteer to serve around the world, often deploying in harm’s way, bringing with them compassionate health care that sets the world’s standards. Our Navy Nurses also play a critical role in our Force Health Protection mission, ensuring we have a fit and medically ready force to meet our duties at a moment’s notice.
The Navy Nurse Corps has grown over the years from the original 20 female members, known as the “Sacred Twenty,” peaking to more than 11,000 members during World War II.
Today, we honor the brilliant accomplishments, courage, and commitment of Navy Nurses who helped to set the bar high for military medicine around the world. Our nurses are published and renowned scientists, researchers, teachers, providers and clinicians. Nurse Corps Officers fly with 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, and administer or command Navy medical treatment facilities worldwide. 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 provide medical care to Sailors and Marines, their families, retirees, and those entrusted to their care. To the nearly 4,000 active duty and reserve Nurse Corps personnel, I thank you for your service, sacrifice and dedication.
Happy Birthday Navy Nurse Corps!
VADM Matthew L. Nathan
Surgeon General of the Navy