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.
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