Combat Medic Memorial

Fort Sam Houston, Texas

The Combat Medic Memorial Statue stands in front of the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum, Fort Sam Houston, TX, as a permanent reminder of the bravery and skill that saved many lives on battlefields across the globe.

Medical Professionals

To Conserve Fighting Strength

Army Medical Department (AMEDD)
Welcome to the New Jersey Army National Guard Army Medical Department webpage. If you are looking for an exciting part-time career that's different from your usual day-to-day career, then the Army National Guard might be a great fit for you. The New Jersey Army National Guard offers direct commissions in Army Medical Department (AMEDD) specialties to qualified medical and dental professionals who possess special skills through education and employment experience. Opportunities may be available for Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Dentists, and those who are seeking a career in medical administration, logistics, and operations.

National Guard members generally meet at their unit one weekend per month and for two-weeks once per year to conduct training and gain experience with military medicine (e.g., establishing a mobile triage unit or handling mass casualties). For its healthcare team, the National Guard maintains a Flexible Training Policy that strives to accommodate your civilian clinical schedule by providing reduced training obligations and alternative training venues (e.g., attending continuing education courses and seminars).

As the National Guard is unique in that it has both state and federal missions, service as an officer in the National Guard allows you to both help your local community and state during natural disasters and civil emergencies while also serving your country in time of national need. Volunteer opportunities also often arise to utilize your skills on international humanitarian operations.

History of the Army Medical Department

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, medical support was hampered not only by the limited availability of trained medical personnel, but the lack of adequate medicine and equipment. Insufficient care not only of the wounded, but the lack of treatment and prevention of the diseases that ravaged the army caused Washington to address the issue of medical care with Congress. WWI Recruiting Poster

Finally, on 27 July 1775, Congress authorized the establishment of a "an hospital" or Medical Service. This date is known as the Anniversary of the Army Medical Department. This important step made provisions for a Director General and Chief Physician (Surgeon General), four surgeons, one apothecary, 20 surgeon's mates, one clerk and two storekeepers. It also provided one nurse to every 10 sick, and laborers as needed. Dr. Benjamin Church was selected as the first Surgeon General. Based on the recommendations of the Director General, on July 17, 1776, congress authorized the employment of "Hospital Stewards" (Medical NCO's) which were the forerunners of the AMEDD NCO Corps. Although not authorized prior to this legislation, Hospital Stewards were assigned to hospital as early as December 1775. When the British loyalists evacuated Boston, Dr. Morgan who was the Director General had his Hospital Stewards collect all the blankets, pillows and bed sacks left behind for use of the army. Thomas Carnes, a steward at the general hospital in New York, advertised for dry herbs such as balm, hyssop, wormwood and mallow for care of patients. Linen sheets and rags were also procured to make bandages and tourniquets.

In 1777, George Washington ordered the army inoculated against small pox, which had been a major factor in the failure of the Quebec campaign. Some hospitals were overcrowded and infection took its toll. Like the soldiers they treated, the surgeons and medical NCO's also contacted the diseases that ravaged the military hospitals and died doing their duty.

In April 1777, a "Hospital Steward" (Medical NCO) was allowed for every hundred sick or wounded. Their responsibilities were to receive, dispense and maintain accountability of articles of diet from the hospital commissary. Pay for the hospital steward was fixed at one dollar a day and two rations. In March 1799, a hospital steward was authorized for each military hospital.

At the end of the war, Congress reduced the size of the army. From 1784 to 1789, there was no organized Medical Department.

Contact Us

For more information contact our AMEDD recruiter.

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