From a Small Twig comes 75 years of Medical Readiness

04 August 2022

From Douglas Stutz

For 75 years, the Navy Medical Service Corps has long been regarded as the most diverse corps, comprised of health care administrators, clinicians and scientists.These medical professionals are trained and focused as a ready medical force for the Navy surgeon general priority of ensuring the warfighter's medical readiness. Nowhere is that more
For 75 years, the Navy Medical Service Corps has long been regarded as the most diverse corps, comprised of health care administrators, clinicians and scientists.

These medical professionals are trained and focused as a ready medical force for the Navy surgeon general priority of ensuring the warfighter's medical readiness. Nowhere is that more applicable than in the nation’s third largest fleet concentration.

Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton held a MSC Birthday cake-cutting ceremony August 4, 2022 to commemorate their years of service before self since their inception in 1947.

The MSC plank owners from that uncertain and tumultuous time just two years after the end of the Second World War were all WWII veterans, many of them prior hospital corpsmen. Their corps adopted as their insignia an unassuming emblem to signify the support they continue to provide to all of Navy Medicine, from an idea actually proposed a few years earlier.

“The recommendation suggested that our corps device, “shall consist of a modification of the oak leaf and acorn of the Medical Corps. The modification shall be a small gold bar, attached to the base of the oak leaf, centered and at right angles to the stem.” This symbolic branch represented the support provided to Navy Medicine. So, although we may call it a twig, the gold bar on our oak leaves depicts the combined efforts to bolster and enhance medical services within our Navy, Never has such a small twig supported so many responsibilities,” explained Cmdr. Jared Taylor, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton director of branch health clinics and MSC birthday coordinator.

There are approximately 40 MSC officers assigned to NMRTC Bremerton, providing expertise in 31 specialties which comprise three basic branches to handle all those many responsibilities throughout the many Navy Medicine hospitals and clinics across the seven seas.

The Clinical Care specialties include audiology, clinical psychology, dietetics/food management, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, and social work.

The Health Care Science field encompasses aerospace experimental psychology, aerospace physiology, biochemistry, entomology, environmental health, industrial hygiene, medical technology, microbiology, physiology, radiation health, and research psychology.

Health Care Administration consists of education and training management, financial management, fleet marine force, general health care administration, health care facilities planning, information management, manpower systems analysis, medical logistics management, operations research, patient administration, and plans, operations and medical intelligence.

“It’s phenomenal what our MSC does. From those initial 251 to over 3,000 Navy wide, located all over the globe, are absolutely critical to our mission wherever we go and whatever we do. I’m very happy and proud to serve with you,” stated Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick NHB director and NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer.

Well-wishes were shared from Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and Rear Adm. Matt Case, MSC director.

“To my MSC colleagues, today marks your 75th year as a staff corps in the United State Navy, your diamond anniversary as a corps. Diamonds are the strongest substance on earth, as well as one of the most desired. Your corps’ passion and strength continues to shine as you take care of our Sailors and Marines, enabling warfighters to execute their missions,” wrote Gillingham.

“As we observe our diamond jubilee, remember our history and heritage are infinitely important in who we are, what we do, and the legacy we continue to build. As we commemorate this momentous occasion, I am filled with excitement thinking about what our past accomplishments mean for our future capabilities and success,” Case shared.

As is the custom in a Navy Medicine birthday celebration with one of the various corps, the most experienced member, Cmdr. Maria Edusada, MSC healthcare administrator and director for administration was joined by the youngest, Lt. j.g. Logan Leon, MSC physician assistant assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Unit Bangor, to formally cut the cake.
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