By Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Your origins began on Aug. 4, 1947 when the Army-Navy Medical Service Corps Act was passed, providing a permanent commissioned corps of specialists to complement the existing medical department officer corps. From the original 251 “plank owners,” the Medical Service Corps has grown into the most diverse officer corps in Navy Medicine comprising 31 specialties that include administrators, scientists and clinicians serving around the world supporting the Navy and Marine Corps.
The officers of the Medical Service Corps are critical in supporting Navy Medicine’s mission of enabling readiness, wellness and health care to our Sailors, Marines, their families and all others we serve around the world, be it on land or at sea. Through your expertise and compassion, you advance Navy Medicine’s readiness and health benefits mission and demonstrate daily the Medical Service Corps’ commitment to our priorities of readiness, value and jointness.
This past year, I have witnessed your many achievements and contributions at home and abroad. Whether serving at sea, on deployments and humanitarian missions, in clinics, inpatient facilities, and research units around the world, Medical Service Corps officers continue to lead from the front in supporting our war fighters. Your commitment and service have left an unprecedented mark on the history of the United States Navy. I am confident you will continue to make Navy Medicine the leader in providing world class care, anytime and anywhere.
The Medical Service Corps has both a proud tradition and a bright future. I am proud to serve with such an outstanding group of professionals. To the over 2,900 active duty and reserve Medical Service Corps officers, congratulations on a job well done and happy 66th birthday!