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NEWS | June 18, 2024

Hospital Corpsmen, the cutting edge of Navy Medicine, celebrate 126 Years

U.S. Navy

The 126th birthday of the Hospital Corps was celebrated with great pride and tradition at the Defense Health Headquarters June 17. The ceremony, attended by distinguished guests and personnel, honored hospital corpsman's rich legacy and invaluable contributions to the United States Navy and beyond.

Rear Adm. Darin Via, Navy Surgeon General, who was a prior hospital corpsman, delivered remarks highlighting the dedication and sacrifice of hospital corpsmen throughout history.

"You are the reason Sailors and Marines are willing to go into harm's way," Via said. “It is the corpsmen at the front line that is going to be saving lives and determining who gets to come back to their loved ones. Truly a salute to every corpsman who has served, who is serving, and who will serve.”

The ceremony featured a solemn flag folding ceremony, symbolizing the honor and respect accorded to those who have served and continue to serve in the Hospital Corps. This was followed by a ceremonial cake-cutting, a time-honored tradition signifying unity and camaraderie among all members of the Navy community.

In anticipation of this milestone, on June 14, Rear Adm. Rick Freedman, Navy Deputy Surgeon General, and Force Master Chief PatrickPaul Mangaran led a commemorative command run. Sailors participated in the run, pausing at planned stops where they were educated on significant historical milestones of the Hospital Corps. This educational journey underscored the Corps' pivotal role in shaping the Navy’s current landscape.

"The 126 years of the Hospital Corps legacy continues to live strong because of each and every one of you," Mangaran said. "Thank you for continuing to build on the foundation that was set before us."

The 126th Hospital Corpsman birthday ceremony served as a poignant reminder of the unwavering dedication and professionalism of hospital corpsmen worldwide. As they continue to keep the warfighter in the fight, their legacy remains an integral part of Navy tradition and service.

Navy Medicine – represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals – provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.