Skip to main content

Military Health System

Military Medicine Joining Forces to Fight COVID-19 All Around the World

Image of A group of military personnel posing for a picture. USFJ Surgeon Cell COVID-19, 28 May 2020, USFJ Yokota AB, Japan.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts of Navy Medicine’s research and development enterprise (NMR&D) to support everything from outbreak response to laboratory detection and warships to floating hospitals highlights the speed and relevance of military medical and scientific capabilities that help make the U.S. armed forces so strong.

From staffing aboard the Navy’s hospital ships and aircraft carriers to clinical studies at hospitals and in the field, many of Naval Medical Research Center’s (NMRC) staff members were out helping to quash COVID-19 during quarantine. Navy Capt. Charmagne Beckett, senior clinical research medical officer at NMRC’s Infectious Diseases Directorate, deployed within three days of receiving the order to the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) where she is now the Assistant Officer in Charge.

The USFJ Surgeon, dual hatted as the U.S. Air Force 374th Medical Group (MDG) Commander, submitted several requests for forces to support the COVID-19 mission. The additional forces allowed the standing up of the Surgeon Cell with the mission "to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 disease through direct action and collaborative efforts to preserve Warfighter readiness by keeping our service members, civilian employees, family members, and our neighboring community healthy, resilient and safe."

Multiple commands from the Navy and Air Force responded to the request with personnel from all over the country, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Wright Patterson, Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Randolph AFB, Davis-Monthan AFB, Scott AFB and Naval Medical Center San Diego. Beckett and the 14-member team are providing knowledge, skill sets and capabilities from a variety of disciplines: preventive medicine, infectious diseases, advanced care nursing, medical planning, public health analytics and medical surveillance. Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are providing direct support and advisement of all COVID-19 related activities.

“We are hopeful that the USFJ Surgeon Cell provides strength to the overall COVID-19 response across Japan’s sub-unified commands. Specifically, at the 374th MDG, clinical research activities were limited prior to COVID-19 but the need to establish access to potential life-saving therapeutics was great thus paving the way for speedy processing of protocol approvals and training,” Beckett said.

The 374th MDG located at Yokota AB, Japan, ensures medical readiness of the 374th Airlift Wing, 5th Air Force, the U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters staff and provides health care, including occupational health, preventive medicine and environmental protection to more than 11,000 personnel.

Working in a new environment even temporarily requires adjustments to professional routines as well as personal. The additional COVID-19 restrictions and requirements do not hinder the work efforts but they can sometimes add to the challenges and no deployment is without challenges.

“The major challenge is the requirement to gather and synthesize the rapidly evolving information regarding COVID-19. We are cautious to avoid missing important information that would threaten to impact operational missions,” Beckett said.

“This mission demands learning and adapting to a joint environment,” she added. “After 26 years on active duty, staying flexible is a personal, life-long lesson that I've continued for this mission. Things change swiftly and constantly – especially with COVID-19.”

Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are expected to remain in Japan for roughly 170 days and they are already planning redeployments. A new rotation will replace the current team in order to maintain the critical functions. NMR&D has deployed over 30 people to the COVID-19 fight to date.

You also may be interested in...

Consolidated Department of Defense Coronavirus Disease 2019 Force Health Protection Guidance

Policy

Consolidates and updates the Department’s guidance regarding vaccination verification, vaccination status, COVID-19 testing, surveillance and screening testing, personnel protection on-site mask requirements, (e.g., DHA military medical treatment facilities, meetings, travel), and the protection of personally identifiable information.

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DOD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the DHA’s implementation of the DOD’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

Establishes the DHA's procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits for enduring COVID-19 support.

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DOD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DOD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DOD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DOD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DOD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DOD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DOD Components.

Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

Policy

Establishes the DHA's plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Memorandum, based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) and (d), establishes the DHA’s procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs). This memorandum cancels and replaces DHA- Policy Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020). A change was issued since the cancelled Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020), the Attachment titles were updated to reflect that Attachments 1, 2, and 4 are considered Policies as opposed to Guidance.

DoD Instruction 6200.05: Force Health Protection Quality Assurance (FHPQA) Program

Policy

This issuance establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and defines requirements for the development and establishment of the FHPQA Program in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5124.02, Sections 731 and 738 of Public Law 108-375; Sections 1074f, 1092a, and 1073b of Title 10, United States Code; and DoDDs 6200.04 and 5136.13.

DoD Instruction 6490.13: Comprehensive Policy on Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Neurocognitive Assessments by the Military Services

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes standard elements, pursuant to section 722 of Public Law 111-383, requiring the implementation of a comprehensive neurocognitive assessment policy in the Military Services.

Embedded Fragment Analyses

Policy

Clarification of the Requirement for Continuation of Semi-Annual Reporting of Results of Embedded Fragment Analyses

<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 20, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery