HOSPITAL CORPS BIRTHDAY
Hospital corpsmen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) celebrated the 114th birthday of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps June 16 with a cake-cutting ceremony in the ship’s First Class Mess.
Corpsmen and departmental staff assembled together to pay tribute to the active duty and reserve men and women of the Navy’s Hospital Corps for their continued years of faithful service to Sailors and Marines all around the world.
“It’s a very important history,” said Hospitalman Grady Fox. “It’s a whole different standard that we are set up to be because we have so much history behind us that we have to make sure to uphold that care and responsibility and make sure that all that tradition isn’t for nothing, make sure that it means something.”
The Hospital Corps came into actuality as an organized unit of the Medical Department under the provision of an act of Congress, which was then approved June 17, 1898. Shortly after World War II, a new Department of Defense was established and the Hospital Corpsman rating took a change in name and insignia. On April 2, 1948, the Navy made new names for the hospital corpsmen effective. The new names were Hospital Recruit, Hospital Apprentice, Hospitalman, Hospital Corpsman Third, Second, and First Class, and Chief Hospital Corpsman.
The corpsmen have the job of maintaining the healthcare of their shipmates. They have carried out a variety of healthcare, including giving immunizations, opening sick call and immediate responses to emergency situations.
“Being a corpsman to me means to be able to help people, learn everything there is in the medical field, to be able to take care of people when they need it the most, to make sure that when they get sick we treat them,” Fox said. “We have to keep it to the point where the service members don’t get too sick or injured.”
“There’s going to be corpsmen everywhere you go in the military because we assist everyone,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Scott Thrasher.
Over the course of 100 plus years, the basic principles of the Hospital Corpsman rate haven’t changed, said Thrasher. Taking care of Sailors, providing medical attention, these are the things Sailors found throughout the Navy can expect.