Care for Soldiers becomes more of a priority this year, especially after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Modifications to Army Field Manuals start to take place, setting the tone for future operations.
The Medical and Family Assistance Center is stood up. Their mission is to provide compassionate, coordinated services to patients, next of kin and extended family members, with a primary focus on OIF/OEF Soldiers.
Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) put into full-time use (first launched in 2002 during OIF). MC4 develops, fields and supports a medical information management system for Army tactical medical forces, enabling a comprehensive, life-long electronic medical record for all service members, and enhancing medical situational awareness for operational commanders.
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine’s Injury Prevention Program launches the Basic Combat Training Injury Prevention program, which was designed to lessen the high numbers of preventable injuries caused to the lower extremities due to running and marching.
M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge replaces aging M60 AVLB (Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge) to keep match the field maneuver operating speed of the M1 Abrams tank.
While completing mission STS-107, Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates in the sky while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere over Texas during its landing descent. All seven crew members including two U.S. Air Force and three U.S. Navy officers, were killed.
The Post Deployment Health Assessment Tool (PDHAT) is launched to ensure that Battle Injured Service Members were assessed three times to avoid any combat stress symptoms or psychiatric disorders.
5th and 1st Special Forces Groups are deployed in support of the upcoming Operation Iraqi Freedom. The groups played a strategic reconnaissance and direct action role and have been involved in the training and aide of Kurdish and Iraqi paramilitary units.
"Liberation of Iraq" campaign streamer begins, covering March 19 through May 1, 2003.
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) begins with the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom.
U.S. troops seize control of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
"Transition of Iraq" campaign streamer begins, covering May 2, 2003 through June 28, 2004.
The Golden Hour blood container is developed by a contractor with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. This high-tech device enables blood to be transported safely over greater distances for Soldier care.
The Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle is launched. This vehicle boasted many improvements over the M-113 medical vehicle that it was replacing, including an automatic lifter and additional cargo space.