JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
Members and friends of the U.S. Army Medical Department gathered at the AMEDD Museum July 25 to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the AMEDD Regiment with a social hosted by members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club.
Col. Randall Anderson, commander of the Army Medical Department Center and School, was the keynote speaker and focused on the history and symbology of the regiment during his remarks.
The Army Medical Department was born on July 27, 1775, when Congress authorized the establishment of "a hospital" or medical service for an Army of 20,000 men.
During the Army's reorganization, some Army units lost their identity, their history and their lineage.
"This loss did not go unnoticed," Anderson said. "In 1981, the chief of staff recommended a regiment and corps affiliations that would provide us a long term affiliation ... a tie to one unit or regiment where one Soldier could go back to the same unit or place ... a link to history."
Five years later, the AMEDD Regiment was activated during ceremonies on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
"One thing that is very important to us in the military is symbology," Anderson said. "We can read each other's uniforms and I can tell what schools you have been to. I can look at your patch and tell where you have been and if we rally around the same patch. We also use the symbology of our flags, our colors or our guidons to center us."
Anderson then brought the audience's attention to the AMEDD Regimental Flag and described each of its symbols and their meanings.
"That built the symbology of our regiment flag and is something we carry forward today; what we rally around as a regiment," he said. "Hopefully, you get a better understanding of the symbology because it is important."
Anderson also said Soldiers need to know the history of our regiment and we need to understand what it represents.
"As we enter our 27th year, we can't forget our history," he said. "We have to keep it alive; it gives us a central focus for us to rally around.
"As we in the AMEDD continue to change and morph and bring in the civilian corps and others, it is important that we are our own team. That is what our flag represents."