Enlisted Medical Corps celebrates its 135th Anniversary

By Kirstin Grace-SimonsFebruary 28, 2022

CSM Pierce
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Pierce speaks to the attendees of an award ceremony at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on Feb. 8, 2022. (Photo Credit: Kirstin Grace-Simons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Uniforms through the years
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 133rd Birthday of the Army Medical Department Enlisted Corps was celebrated with a ceremony hosted by CSM Michael L. Gragg,Command Sergeant Major, United States Army Medical Command. Surrounded by the history of the AMEDD Museum at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas soldiers of the AMEDD Enlisted Corpsconducted several activities including a presentation by soldiers in perioduniforms, remarks commemorating the AMEDD Enlisted Corps by CSM(R) Marshall L.Huffman, Honorary Sergeant Major of the AMEDD Regiment and the ceremonial cutting of the AMEDD Enlisted Corps birthday cake. The celebration included a reception in the AMEDD Museum, JBSA, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 03MAR2020.

Image: AMEDD soldiers SPC James Bowen in 1887 Hospital Steward uniform, MSG Alberto Perez in WWII uniform, SGT Mo Suleiman in Vietnam war era uniform, SFC Deborah Greer in DesertShield/Storm uniform and SFC Ryan Lowe Ryan in Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) during a presentation at the AMEDD EnlistedCorps 133rd birthday cele (Photo Credit: Fred Del Toro)
History of the USAMEC
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army graphic from a March 8, 2016 story by Spc. Pingyang Liu, Tripler Army Medical Center Behavioral Health with contributions by Jim Goose Guzior. (Photo Credit: Spc. Pingyang Liu and Jim Goose Guzior) VIEW ORIGINAL

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – On March 1, 1887, the Hospital Corps was established. This was an outgrowth of years of work by enlisted Soldiers as hospital stewards and requests by the Army surgeon general to Congress to formalize these positions. This is the Army Enlisted Medical Corps that provides a strong foundation that supports our hospital and clinics.

“On March 1 of every year, we celebrate the anniversary of the Enlisted Corps’ unwavering commitment to the Army and the nation. I feel confident that I can speak for my fellow Corps members when I say that we are so proud of what we do for our fellow service members, their families and retirees. I feel very much like we continually strive to provide a strong backbone for all of Army Medicine,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Pierce, the interim senior enlisted noncommissioned officer of Madigan Army Medical Center. 

Though 1887 is the formal establishment year of the corps as it is known today, as noted, that was the culmination of four decades of requests. But, the work of the medical enlisted Soldier extends back to the Revolutionary War.

As early as 1775, hospital stewards were in charge of supplies, from blankets and pillows to herbs and rags to make bandages and tourniquets. From there the duties grew to encompass procurement of food and supplies, budget management and all major administrative and logistical functions of hospitals.

From early on, enlisted Soldiers were drawn from the line units to care for the sick and wounded. They assisted surgeons in procedures, dispensed medicines and dressed wounds.

Today, the Army Medical Department’s Enlisted Corps is composed of 24 military occupational skills and 12 additional skill identifiers, making it one of the most diverse and complex corps in the Army.

The duties of a typical day spans the entire range of tasks in the hospital, and outpatient and dental clinics, as well as public health that has been so important to addressing pandemic issues over the past two years.

Madigan is one of the largest medical training platforms in the Department of Defense. Its enlisted personnel support the education of all variety of trainees, notably the enlisted in the Advanced Individual Training programs.

As a major site of AIT Phase II training, Madigan supports 10 technician programs and graduates approximately 200 students each year. These students get classroom and clinical training in both simulated and real-world environments.

“We are eternally grateful for the many contributions of the enlisted members of the Medical Corps. We cannot execute our sacred mission to conserve the fighting strength, maintain and build readiness and create the next generation of medical professionals without their steadfast leadership and devotion,” said Col. Scott Roofe, deputy commanding officer at Madigan.

As Madigan holds a ceremony and cuts a cake to recognize the years of standout service of its Enlisted Medical Corps Soldiers, it pays tribute to the many enlisted professionals who carried the litters and found the supplies that kept Soldiers and families alive and healthy on the battlefield and in garrison.

Madigan will celebrate the anniversary with a ceremony and cake cutting event on March 1.

Madigan’s Social Media Links:

Madigan’s Facebook:


Madigan’s Twitter:


Madigan’s Instagram:


Madigan’s LinkedIn:


Madigan’s YouTube: