Story Number: NNS140805-02Release Date: 8/5/2014 7:51:00 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs
EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Sailors from the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) medical team celebrated the 67th birthday of the Navy Medical Service Corps, Aug. 4.
Congress enacted the Medical Service Corps in 1947 where 251 "plankowners" were commissioned as Medical Service Corps officers.
"Medical Service Corps represents a diverse field in the medical department," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlos Vidal, from Shreveport, Louisiana. "They cover 31 specialties ranging from medical administration, physical therapy, psychology, physician assistants and more."
The Medical Service Corps has been active in the military long before the formal establishment. Sixty-five pharmacists and chief pharmacists where given temporary commissions in medical corps during World War I. Likewise, 1,429 officers were given temporary appointments in the hospital corps, and 825 healthcare specialists and scientists were given temporary appointments with naval Reserve officers in World War II.
Now the Medical Service Corps consists of more than 3,000 active and Reserve officers serving at sea on deployments, humanitarian missions, clinics and patient facilities in other commands around the world.
"Our diversity is our strength," said Rear Adm. T. J. Moulton, director of the Medical Service Corps, in a letter sent out to the fleet to celebrate the birthday. "I want to thank you for all that you do to provide high quality health care to our war fighters, their families and those who are trusted to our care."
According to Moulton, the next focus for the Medical Service Corps is mentoring the next generation of leaders.
"This mentoring focus is huge for our department," said Lt. Wayne Simonds, the ship's medical administration and division officer. "We have different jobs and opportunities and we already have a few Sailors submitting packet's for commission."
Moulton challenges Sailors to find a mentor, become a mentor or continue to mentor and emphasizes the leadership and professional fundamentals that make the Medical Service Corps strong and prepared for any challenge that may lie ahead.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.