Navy's 19th Director of the Medical Service Corps Takes Charge with a Nod to the Past and Eyes on the Future

Story Number: NNS190812-15Release Date: 8/12/2019 2:28:00 PM
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By Regena Kowitz, Navy Medicine West Public Affairs

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- During a ceremony at the Defense Health Headquarters Aug. 9, Rear Adm. Timothy Weber became the Navy’s 19th director of the Medical Service Corps (MSC), assuming the role from Rear Adm. Anne Swap, Navy Medicine East commander.

The MSC is Navy Medicine’s most diverse corps, comprising a multi-disciplinary team of naval officers in 31 different specialties, including scientists, clinical care providers, and health care administrators.

“Serving as Medical Service Corps director for the past three years has been an honor and a joy,” said Swap. “Taking the lead on this community was the most rewarding job I have ever had and, if I had to pick one word to describe my tenure, it would be ‘change.’ This has been a time of great change for the Navy writ large and Navy Medicine specifically. No matter what changes occur, we still have our mission to provide the best care to the best Sailors and Marines, for the best Navy and Marine Corps.” 

Weber, a native of Holland, Michigan, was commissioned in 1989 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame and most recently served as the Navy Medicine West (NMW) chief of staff. Prior to that, he has served in numerous positions throughout Navy Medicine as a health care administrator, including an operational assignment in Afghanistan. As a senior executive, Weber provided leadership at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka as executive officer and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa as commanding officer.

Next week, Aug. 16, Weber will assume command of NMW, leading Navy Medicine’s health care system in the Pacific Rim with oversight of military hospitals, clinics, and dental centers on the West Coast and in Hawaii, Japan, and Guam. NMW also has cognizance over Navy Medicine’s research and development enterprise, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland at the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) with seven additional labs situated around the globe.

“Rear Admiral Swap has provided tremendous leadership and support to our corps and Navy Medicine during her tenure,” said Weber. “By honoring our heritage, committing to excellence, and leading with integrity, she has ensured Medical Service Corps officers are at the forefront of Navy and military medicine, conducting cutting-edge research in support of warfighter readiness, healing those we are honored to serve by delivering high quality care, and supporting operational commanders by providing the resources they need.”

At an event celebrating the 72nd birthday of the MSC Aug. 10, Weber shared the story of the corps that was founded Aug. 4, 1947.

Due to advances in medical sciences and a bourgeoning health care industry, Weber told the audience, there was a growing need within the Navy for personnel who specialized in research and development, health care sciences, and health care administration.

“During World War I, Navy Medicine began an expansion era that focused on the health of the force, improved public health, and expansion of medical research laboratories—all in support of the warfighter,” said Weber.

Weber explained that, by World War II, the need for a specialized corps was clearly apparent, given the demands for a variety of clinical and allied health professionals to support operational planning, supply, food service, facilities, and personnel management.

“Tonight, just as I’m sure they did on the Medical Service Corps’ first anniversary, we celebrate our diversity, our agility, our flexibility, and our service to this country in getting the job done,” said Weber. “It is because of each of you, who are part of our tapestry of 3,100 MSC officers that we will continue to stand the watch and meet the many challenges ahead to be ready for the next fight.”

Navy Medicine West (NMW) leads Navy Medicine’s Western Pacific health care system and global research and development enterprise. Throughout the region, NMW provides medical care to nearly 700,000 beneficiaries across 10 naval hospitals, two dental battalions, and 51 branch clinics located throughout the West Coast of the U.S., Asia, and the Pacific. Globally, NMW oversees eight research laboratories that deliver research expertise in support of warfighter health and readiness.


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