Navy Surgeon General Honors Hospital Corps’ 113th Birthday

U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
Navy News Service
The hospital ship USNS Mercy deployed to a region to provide humanitarian assistance
The hospital ship USNS Mercy deployed to a region to provide humanitarian assistance

The hospital ship USNS Mercy deployed to a region to provide humanitarian assistance and focused medical care to thousands of people. While ashore, Mercy’s crew will focus on public health, primary care, dental treatment, preventive medicine, health education and pharmaceutical support.

-- The Navy Surgeon General sent a message to the Navy Hospital Corps in celebration of its birthday, June 15.

“Today we celebrate the 113th Birthday of our Hospital Corps.,” said Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. “Hospital Corpsmen deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, in wartime and in peacetime. From Khe Sanh to Kandahar, Iwo Jima to the Chosin Reservoir, the Hospital Corps has always been in the fight and on the battlefield.”

With the Spanish-American War looming, Congress passed a bill authorizing establishment of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, signed into law by President William McKinley on June 15, 1898. Since then, our Services have often heard the call “Corpsman Up!” a call which has been answered in every major battle since the Corps’ founding, according to Robinson.

Robinson acknowledged the Navy Hospital Corps’ dual mission at home and abroad—providing the same quality of care to service members and their families in military treatment facilities at home as well as overseas.

“It is no accident that the Navy and Marine Corps is experiencing the lowest battle mortality and non-battle injury rates in the history of armed conflict,” said Robinson. “This is due in large part to our exceptional Corpsmen and their training.”

Today, more than 20,000 active duty and Reserve Navy Hospital Corpsmen serve with both the Navy and the Marine Corps throughout the world. The Hospital Corps is the largest rating in the Navy and the most decorated in the U.S. Twenty naval ships alone have been named after Hospital Corpsmen. Their personal sacrifices and valor in peace and combat, have earned them a prominent place in the proud history of the U.S. Navy, according to Robinson.

“It is their honor, courage, and commitment that we honor today,” said Robinson. “As the Hospital Corpsmen Pledge states, “the care of the sick and injured…is a privilege and a sacred trust.” Today we honor and celebrate that sacred trust to ensure our Nation has a medically ready, fit, and fighting force; and that those who’ve served our Nation, along with their families, can always count on the Hospital Corps to help provide quality and compassionate patient and family – centered health care.”

Robinson oversees a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy Medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.