Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston —
The U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, or
AMEDDC&S, Medical Service Corps, or MSC, celebrated 99 years of service
with a cake cutting ceremony June 30 at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum
at Fort Sam Houston.
Retired Col. Greg Griffin, former AMEDD Leader Training
Center chief, reflected on the past and forthcoming innovations of the MSC and
Griffin later cut the ceremonial cake, joined by the most
junior MSC officer, 2nd Lt. Hannah Martinez, a Basic
Officer Leadership Course student, and the most senior MSC
officer, Lt. Col. Marion Jefferson, AMEDDC&S MSC deputy corps chief.
The U.S. Army Medical Service Corps traces its history back
to the U.S. Revolutionary War with the appointment of an Apothecary General and
continued during the Civil War with establishment of an Ambulance Corps and
U.S. Army Medical storekeepers.
During World War I, the requirement for a considerable
number of officers who were neither physicians, dentists nor veterinarians,
resulted in formation of the Sanitary Corps June 30, 1917.
This corps modernized the medical department with officers
in a wide variety of administrative and scientific specialties. The unbroken
chain, from June 30, 1917 to June 30, 2017, links the Sanitary Corps as the
oldest direct antecedent of the MSC.
The Sanitary Corps was demobilized following the end of
World War I. During the inter-war years, it became clear that the Army needed a
permanent medical ancillary organization. This led to the establishment of the
Medical Administrative Corps, or MAC, June 4, 1920.
Growth during World War II was aggressive. The MAC increased
from less than 100 officers in 1939 to more than 22,000 by 1945. These officers
freed up physicians for patient care responsibilities by occupying an expanded
variety of positions.
A third precursor of the MSC, the Pharmacy Corps, was
established as a Regular Army branch July 12, 1943. Finally, on Aug. 4, 1947,
the new U.S. Army Medical Service Corps replaced the separate Sanitary,
Administrative and Pharmacy Corps.
For more information the visit the AMEDDC&S and U.S.
Army Medical Department Medical Service Corps websites at
http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/ and http://medicalservicecorps.amedd.army.mil/.