CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (NHCP) staff and guests gathered in the Pastoral Care lobby to celebrate the 69th birthday of the Navy Medical Service Corps, Aug. 4.
The Medical Service Corps (MSC) was originally called the Navy Hospital Corps in World War I, but the military later recognized the need for a permanent, all-officer medical category comprised of individuals trained in administrative, professional, and scientific specialties.
Officially authorized by the Army-Navy Medical Service Corps Act of 1947, the Navy's Medical Service Corps is comprised of over 2,700 officers on active duty and 360 in the Reserves serving in 31 different specialties spread across three broad focus areas -- Health Care Administration, Health Care Science and Clinical Care.
NHCP currently has 73 MSC officers serving in 20 specialties.
During the ceremony, birthday messages from the directors of the Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps and the Navy Surgeon General were read.
Rear Adm. Anne M. Swap, director, Medical Service Corps, said in her birthday message on Aug. 4, 1947, the MSC had 251 plankowners and only four subspecialties and 69 years and 31 subspecialties later, the MSC stands nearly 3,100 strong.
"Each specialty within the Medical Service Corps provides relevant and critically important services to all of our Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen, as well as our coalition partners throughout the world," said Swap. "I am in awe of the excellence I see every day and have no doubt that the future of our corps is in good hands."
The ceremony concluded with the oldest and youngest MSC officers present cutting a cake.
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