FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Surgeon General released the following birthday message to the Navy Hospital Corps June 15, in recognition of its birthday.
"On behalf of Navy Medicine and a grateful nation, I extend our sincere thanks and heartfelt congratulations to the men and women of the Hospital Corps, as you celebrate your 114th anniversary," said Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy Surgeon General and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. "No Marine has ever taken a hill without his corpsman by his side. As Sailors and Marines deploy in harm's way, they take solace in knowing that 'Doc' is beside them."
With the Spanish-American War looming, the Hospital Corps was founded June 17, 1898, as Congress passed a bill, signed into law by President William McKinley, authorizing its establishment. Since then, services have often heard the call "Corpsman Up," a call which has been answered from the Spanish-American War to the War in Afghanistan since its founding, according to Nathan.
Today, more than 26,000 active duty and Reserve corpsmen around the world deploy with Sailors and Marines, providing life-saving care and critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, and on the battlefield.
"We are currently experiencing the lowest battle mortality and non-battle injury rates in the history of armed conflict due, in large part, to our exceptional corpsmen and their training," said Nathan. "This is unprecedented and something that you should all be proud of."
The Hospital Corps is the largest rating in the Navy and the most decorated in the United States. Twenty naval ships alone have been named after hospital corpsmen, according to Nathan.
"Today we honor the courage, commitment, and sacrifice of the Hospital Corps," said Nathan. "We honor your bravery in battle, and your compassion during our global humanitarian assistance/disaster response efforts. Your willingness to help those in need leaves an indelible impression on the United States and across the globe. Your superb performance throughout our medical treatment facilities has ensured our nation has a medically ready, fit and fighting force, as well as quality and compassionate patient and family-centered health care."
As the Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Nathan leads 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel that provide health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.
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