WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy Surgeon General sent a message to the Navy Nurse Corps commemorating the corps' 103rd birthday which will be celebrated May 13.
"Today, Navy nurses serve at sea, pier side, on deployments and humanitarian missions, and at clinics and inpatient facilities around the world," said Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. "Their work in times of peace and conflict, have earned the Nurse Corps a prominent place in the proud history of the U.S. Navy."
The Nurse Corps was founded May 13, 1908. By October of that year, the first nurses, later called "The Sacred Twenty," reported for duty at the Naval Medical School Hospital, Washington, D.C., now the home of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Today, active duty and Reserve Navy nurses representing more than 15 specialties serve with both the Navy and the Marine Corps throughout the world, providing exemplary care to Sailors, Marines and their families, from the garrison to the deck plates and to the battlefield.
According to Robinson, the Navy Nurse Corps has fluctuated in size over the years and peaked during World War II with over 11,000 members. Two groups of Navy nurses even became prisoners of war during World War II. One group called the "Angels of Bataan" continued their work as a nursing unit while imprisoned in an internment camp for over 3 years until they were rescued by American forces.
"It is their honor, courage, and commitment we honor today," said Robinson. "We celebrate the men and women of the Nurse Corps and all they do around the world to ensure our Nation has a medically ready, fit, and fighting force. 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!"
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