AMEDD regiment celebrates 236th anniversary
August 4, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Members of the Army Medical Department " whether military, civilian or contractors " have been providing health care on and off the battlefield since 1775.
Senior leaders and noncommissioned officers gathered at the Army Medical Department Museum July 29 for the AMEDD Regimental social to celebrate 236 years of Army medicine.
Hosted by members of the Sgt. Maj. of the Army Leon Van Autreve Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, the social included a cake cutting ceremony, remarks by guest speaker retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Adolph Arista and also by hosts Army Medical Department Center and School commanding general Maj. Gen. David Rubenstein and Command Sgt. Maj. James Diggs.
“Throughout its history " from Valley Forge to the Korengal Valley " the AMEDD has distinguished itself through dedication, professionalism, and valor,” Arista said.
Arista enlisted in the Army in 1972 and retired in 2002 as the command sergeant major for the AMEDDC&S;.
Arista talked about Spc. Channing Moss, an MK-19 gunner who was impaled through the abdomen by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan and the medical treatment he received, beginning with the platoon medic who immediately controlled the bleeding and prepared him to be evacuated.
When the medical evacuation crew arrived and assessed Moss’ condition, they knew they had to continue medical care and get Moss to a hospital base as fast as possible, no matter the risk to themselves.
“By this time, Moss’ life had been saved twice,” Arista said.
“When Moss got to the forward surgical team, the doctor on site saw how serious the Soldier was wounded, but knew that something could be done to save the Soldier,” Arsita said.
Before he wrapped up his remarks, Arista spoke to senior leaders about leader development and challenged them to make leader development a priority and daily activity.
“I challenge you to make your subordinate leaders as good as you are,” he said.
According to the history of the AMEDD regiment website (http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil), the U.S. Army Medical Department was formed on July 27, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized a Medical Service for an army of 20,000 men.
The Hospital Department was then created and Dr. Benjamin Church of Boston was named as Director General and Chief Physician.
While the AMEDD was established in 1775, the U.S. Army Regimental system was not established until 1981 in order to preserve the history and linage of the medical department and to provide Soldiers the opportunity to identify with a single regiment.
On July 28, 1986, the U.S. Army Medical Department Regiment was officially activated during ceremonies at Fort Sam Houston. The purpose of the regiment is to develop loyalty and commitment, foster a sense of belonging, improve unit esprit, and commit the war-fighting ethos.
“They didn’t say anything about how it was suppose to work,” he said. “Back in 1775, there was no direction and no guidance.
“The healthcare system we have today is such a tremendous system because of the eight corps of the AMEDD " the six commissioned corps, the civilian corps, and the hospital corps known as the enlisted corps,” Rubenstein said.
“When we built our system, there was no noncommissioned officers corps, and I am convinced that the early failures and early problems of our medical department were because there wasn’t an NCO Corps,” the general said.