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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2022

U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence resumes high school tours

By Tish Williamson U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs

Twenty Students from Dillard McCollum High School’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps toured the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Feb. 16 to learn about the many career opportunities in Army medicine available to high school and college graduates.

The visit was initiated by retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Burton, a former 70F health services human resources officer who worked at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston before his retirement in 2017. Burton is the Senior Army Instructor for McCollum High School, which is located in San Antonio’s Harlandale Independent School District.

The student visit was the first hosted by MEDCoE since the pandemic. In June 2021, the training and education institution responsible to train the Army’s medical professionals resumed tours for educators who could demonstrate they were fully vaccinated or had proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of students and MEDCoE personnel, student tours were halted until local COVID-19 conditions improved, including FDA-approved vaccines for their age group.

Educator and student tours are part of the MEDCoE’s ongoing effort to improve the quality of future officers and Soldiers by identifying and assessing the right talent, skills and credentials needed for Army Medicine to succeed. Capable future Soldiers and leaders are vital to the enduring success of the Army’s all-volunteer force. 

The Army offers more than 60 science and medicine career paths and each is trained at the MEDCoE at some point in their career. MEDCoE trains and educates nearly 30,000 students in more than 360 training and education programs annually.

Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, MEDCoE commanding general, welcomed the juniors and seniors, explained the many benefits of joining the Army and pursuing a career in Army Medicine, discussed the various training the students would get to observe during the tour, and even offered to connect with them if they were ever in need of an Army mentor.

“Take in as much information as you can to get you where you want to be, and to align with your interests and future goals,” LeMaster said.

During the nearly three-hour tour, students got the opportunity to visit and observe training in preventative medicine and zoology, environmental health and observed Army dental assistant, respiratory therapist, surgical technician training at the Medical Education and Training Campus. Students also got to spend time at the Army Medical Department Museum and the Army North Caisson Stables.

For more information on a career in Army medicine, visit