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Military Health System

Our History

Military medicine has a long and celebrated history. We apply lessons from our past to improve the care of military personnel and their families today and in the future. New surgical techniques, powerful painkillers, antibiotic drugs, and triage and evacuation procedures have revolutionized military medicine.

In this section, you'll find featured stories and information about the history of military medicine.

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USU 50th


2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Uniformed Services University's founding Sept. 21, 1972 and its mission to care for members of the military both on and off the field. (Photo: Courtesy of USU)



U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Yost accepts his Young Investigators Competition first-place award from U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Katherine Simonson, Terry Rauch, and Dr. Michael Morris at the 2022 Military Health System Research Symposium in Kissimmee, Florida, Sept. 15, 2022. (Photo: Robert Hammer, MHS Communications)



For his service during the Korean War, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Francis “Doc” Hammond, a hospitalman, was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor in 1953. (Photo: Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command)



U.S. Army Astronaut Lt. Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio successfully launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, Sept. 21, for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. (Photo: Courtesy of NASA)

motorcycle rider 2022


Beyond attending the required motorcycle training courses, active-duty riders are required to wear proper personal protective equipment whether riding on or off-base. Riders must wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, a Department of Transportation-approved helmet, protective eye wear, full-fingered gloves and above-ankle shoes, preferably, steel-toed boots. (Photo illustration Navy MassCommunication Specialist 1st Class RJ Stratchko)

Camp LeJeune_725


Staff at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune's lab demonstrate lab testing procedures to students in June 2022. (Photo: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

National Concussion Awareness Day Main


On a monthly average, more than 1,000 service members are diagnosed with a first-time concussion. Most of them happen during recreational or routine training activities (Photo by: Senior Airman Chance Nardone, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Mehring, RP, Germany)



Holly Joers serves as the program executive officer for Defense Health care Management Systems. (Photo: Josh Brick, Program Executive Office, DHMS)

Patriots Day_725


Richard Breen, director of strategic communications for the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and the office of the director of the Defense Health Agency, displays the iconic 9/11 photo of the American flag draped down the side of the damaged Pentagon. Breen was the featured speaker at the Defense Health Agency’s Patriot’s Day remembrance ceremony at the Defense Health Headquarters on Sept. 9, 2022. (Photo: Robbie Hammond, MHS Communications)

Yesenia Flores and horse 2022


Yesenia Flores, a human resource specialist with the Army National Guard, said being with the equine therapy program horses shows wounded soldiers what emotions and tensions they’ve been holding in. The horses “mirror” a soldier’s feelings and make it OK to heal, she said. Soldiers assigned to the Soldier Recovery Unit on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have the opportunity to receive equine therapy through a partnership with a local farm and its founder, Jenn O’Neill.

International Committee


Dr. David Smith, acting principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, speaks at the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) World Congress held in Brussels. (Photo: Courtesy of ICMM World Congress)

Eliza Stone


Navy Ensign Eliza Stone, a first-year medical student at the Uniformed Services University, competed in the World Championship as a member of Team USA. She would go on to be ranked fourth in women's fencing.

San Diego interns 2022


Naval medicine interns learn about the opportunities in the four major Naval medicine operational communities.



President Joe Biden signs the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act on August 10, 2022. (Photo: Kent Nishimura)

Chart on alcohol consumption and ATD


Drinking and driving is a serious problem that could end your military career. Don’t do it. If you do drink, take a licensed car service or taxi home, or use a designated driver. It could save a life.

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Last Updated: March 17, 2023
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