FORT HOOD, Texas – Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center celebrated the Army Medical Department Enlisted Corps' 134th anniversary March 1, with a ceremony hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Elvin Medina, CRDAMC senior enlisted advisor.
Senior noncommissioned officers presented the Enlisted Corps' history while Soldiers donned period uniforms in homage to the Corps' rich history.
The AMEDD Enlisted Corps was officially established in 1887, and today has Soldiers engaged in global missions all over the world.
Medical noncommissioned officers are expected to provide health services support and manage administrative and logistical functions in garrison and in the field—a considerable evolution from hospital stewards' initial role.
The expanded role and increased responsibilities have opened the door to more significant opportunities for various jobs and leadership positions.
"There are more opportunities available today for medical technicians than ever before," said keynote speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Todd M. Garner, senior enlisted advisor 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
Garner encouraged Soldiers to focus on professional development and training to be ready for future opportunities.
The command sergeant major's thirty-year career is filled with meaningful moments, but he honed in on a big lesson his initial ETS from active duty taught him about planning and preparation.
"No one in the history of the Army was more adamant about not serving one minute more than I signed up for than me," said Garner. "I had a plan. I had the means to end."
" Yet you see me standing here today thirty years later because something happened, said Garner.
"I fell in love with the United States Army," he said.
After completing his initial active duty commitment of two years plus training time, Garner realized his love for the Army and returned.
"When I came back in, I was specialist without a single correspondence course to my name, without a single military school, and I had never even been to a board," the command sergeant major told the crowd.
"I realized that you have to prepare."
Garner addresses how the changing environment makes it even more important to be prepared and encouraged Soldiers to maximize opportunities whether they planned to serve twenty years or ETS before retirement because plans change.
"Take advantage of every opportunity, said Garner. ”There are more opportunities out there than ever before. The question is, how are you going to prepare?"
Laying out a blueprint for success, Garner challenged the enlisted corps Soldiers to seek diverse career assignments, embrace opportunities outside the hospital setting, and continue to further their military and civilian education to be ready for the future.
Garner highlighted enlisted medical personnel who have progressed to senior leadership positions hoping to inspire at least one person.
13th ESC's top enlisted advisor shared his pride in the work AMEDD Enlisted Corps Soldiers do every day and reminded them of the difference they make in the lives of those they serve.
"I am so proud of what you do each day," said Garner as he concluded his keynote remarks.
"What greater honor than to conserve the fighting strength of our Nation's most precious resource, the American Soldier.
What greater reward than knowing that what you do gives the warfighter the courage and the confidence to do what they do?"
"Remember, our mission is always about people," he added.