Academic journal article Military Review

The History of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps

Academic journal article Military Review

The History of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps

Article excerpt

THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE CORPS by Richard V.N. Ginn. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1997. $45.00.

After the Crimean War, British nurse Florence Nightingale argued for a hospital organization that would free the surgeon from administrative and non-patient care duties. A support staff, she wrote, would provide the required expertise to maintain the daily operations of the hospital. Over time, the US Army Medical Service Corps (MSC) was developed to fill that need. And, as the Army Medical Department has grown, so has MSC. With administrative, operational and scientific officers, MSC provides all the support needed to maintain a robust Army Medical Department.

This book describes the fits, starts, setbacks and accomplishments of MSC's development. The story is told through chronological vignettes that outline MSC's growth. The series tells the story of dedicated support to casualties on the battlefield, patients in the hospital and scientific pursuits in the field and laboratory. An underlying theme is the development of opportunities for MSC and members of its various career fields, all of which are mentioned.

Ginn illustrates the origin and growth of all MSC specialties, from the first medical logisticians in 1862 to the 26 distinct fields that exist today. …

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