Navy Medicine Celebrates Hospital Corps 112th Birthday

Story Number: NNS100621-05Release Date: 6/21/2010 4:24:00 PM
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By Valerie A. Kremer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) commemorated the 112th birthday of the U.S. Hospital Corps June 17 with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony and a performance by the Navy Silent Drill Team held at the BUMED campus.

Corpsman and command staff gathered together to honor the over 28,000 active duty and reserve men and women of the Navy Hospital Corps for their 112 years of service providing lifesaving care to Sailors and Marines around the world.

"It is with great pride that I wish the outstanding men and women of the Hospital Corps a very Happy 112th Birthday," Force Master Chief Laura Martinez wrote in a birthday message to Hospital Corpsman. "The compassionate care provided to our wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Marines, dependents, and to those that have worn the cloth, our veterans is nothing short of spectacular and continues to uphold Navy Medicine's commitment to providing world class care to all our beneficiaries," said Martinez.

The ceremony featured speeches by BUMED leadership about the support they continue to receive by the outstanding corpsmen of the Navy. Additionally Navy corpsmen spoke about their personal experiences of being part of the Corps.

"The Hospital Corps are the bedrock of Navy Medicine," said BUMED Chief of Staff, Capt. Michael McCarten. "Wherever I was, in Kandahar or here at home, I always had a corpsman by my side. Happy birthday shipmates!"

The Hospital Corps is the most decorated branch of the United States Navy and has fought on the front lines of every battle in United States history. On June 17, 1898, then-President William McKinley, established the Hospital Corps as a recognized member of the Navy Medical Department.

As part of the ceremony, the hospital corpsmen reaffirmed the oath they took upon completion of Hospital Corpsman "A" School to serve their fellow service members faithfully.

The celebration also featured a traditional cake cutting. Performed by the youngest and oldest corpsmen at the celebration, Master Chief Keith Boyce and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Lillian Alexander cut the cake.

"Even before the official inception of Hospital Corps on June 17, 1898, corpsmen have gallantly answered the call to battle," wrote Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam Robinson Jr. in a message to all Navy medical personnel worldwide. "From the Revolutionary War to the current overseas contingency operations, corpsmen have served with valor as they tend to the sick and injured on the high seas and other worlds battlefields. As Sailors and Marines deploy in harms way, they take solace in knowing that 'Doc' is beside them, and when the word is passed 'Corpsman Up!,' they know that they're in the best of hands."

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