Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Military Medical Units Support Civilian Hospitals Strained By COVID-19 Surge

Image of Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gorman, a medical technician assigned to a military medical team deployed to Yuma, Arizona performs a nasal swab at the Yuma Regional Medical Center’s COVID testing drive-thru in Yuma, Jan. 17, 2022. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gorman, a medical technician assigned to a military medical team deployed to Yuma, Arizona performs a nasal swab at the Yuma Regional Medical Center’s COVID testing drive-thru in Yuma, Jan. 17, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Richard Barnes)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force Capt. Jenna Mason, a nurse stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, spent about five months in Minnesota supporting a hospital staff at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

When she completed her duty there recently, she said it was hard to say goodbye to the civilian hospital staff.

"It feels kind of bittersweet, you know?" Mason said shortly after her final shift in the hospital on the morning of Jan. 23.

"Just the impact we have on the patients, it's what makes being a nurse so rewarding," said Mason. "We don't just pass out [medicine] but we hold their hands and help them through it all. We're emotional support as well."

Across the country, hundreds of service members from the active and reserve components have been supporting civilian hospitals in recent weeks as the latest surge in COVID-19 infections has strained the nation's health system.

The Defense Department announced in January that an additional 1,000 active duty service members were prepared to deploy to civilian hospitals to help take pressure off medical staffs. These 1,000 personnel joined approximately 400 other military medical personnel who previously deployed to provide assistance to civilian hospitals.

The additional military medical forces have deployed to provide support in Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. Other recent deployments included medical teams sent to Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and one team to the Navajo Nation, according to U.S. Northern Command.

"It is a team effort — the Department of Defense is one of many federal agencies providing assistance — and I am thankful and proud of our service members' role in this endeavor," said Army Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., Army North commander, in a recent report on medical support deployments.

The deployment of active duty forces followed other announcements from state governments that have activated the National Guard to support civilian hospitals.

In Arizona, a team of Air Force medics has been supporting the civilian hospital staff at Yuma Regional Medical Center. "The staff has been very welcoming and really helped us integrate into their facility," said Air Force Capt. Farran Adams, a nurse assigned to the team in Yuma.

In Maryland, as many as 1,000 National Guard members deployed to support testing facilities, hospitals and nursing families. "Personally, it feels good," said Army Sgt. Shanay Clay, who supported the mission in Maryland by delivering COVID-19 test kits and masks to health care facilities and vaccination sites.

"It feels really good to know that just this one small thing could potentially save a life."

In Vermont, state officials have also requested help from the state's guard units. Army Col. Justin Davis, director of plans and operations for the Vermont National Guard, noted how the military's role in the COVID-19 response has evolved over the past two years.

"When this first started, almost two years ago, we established an alternate healthcare facility. We augmented the Strategic National Stockpile warehouse, distributed food, conducted testing sites, and helped the state with contact tracing," Davis said.

"Then vaccines became available, and we converted our testing team to a vaccination team. We also added a team … to oversee receipt, storage, and distribution of the vaccines."

In Louisiana, the National Guard has been especially busy as the deployments to support COVID-19 efforts during the past two years often coincided with other deployments in response to several devastating hurricanes and a severe winter storm, said Army Maj. Patrick O'Brien Boling of the Louisiana National Guard.

In Oregon, state officials activated about 1,200 reservists in January, sending them out to as many as 40 hospitals that were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and in some cases short staffed due to employees falling ill.

You can find more reporting on how U.S. military medical teams are supporting the national COVID-19 response effort at U.S. Northern Command's news page or the Defense Department's Health Spotlight page.

You also may be interested in...

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus

CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

Video
8/24/2021
CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

CSM Gragg shares his personal story dealing with COVID and the loss associated with it and urges all to take precautions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

Video
8/16/2021
Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Video
6/29/2021
The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Like our enemies in the past, the coronavirus has adapted and we're now dealing with the most transmissible variant yet, Delta. The fight can be won with vaccination. If you're not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus, go get your shot today. Otherwise you're at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Video
6/25/2021
The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Are you a service member age 18 to 30? Are you unvaccinated? You may be entitled to severe disease, hospitalization, and death. To avoid these options, get vaccinated today!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
What is an mRNA vaccine?

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Direct Reporting Markets

MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Video
5/12/2021
MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

Video
4/21/2021
Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

The pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, including reductions in blood donations. Find a military blood donor center today to donate blood in a safe environment where we take all precautions against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus

TRICARE | COVID-19 Vaccine | Together, We Are Stronger

Video
3/15/2021
TRICARE | COVID-19 Vaccine | Together, We Are Stronger

In the past year, we've faced challenges, and we've done it with courage. Now, hope is on the horizon. Get vaccinated, and let's take care of each other. Together, we are stronger: www.tricare.mil/CovidVaccine

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Secretary of Defense Video to the Force on COVID-19 Vaccinations

Video
2/24/2021
Secretary of Defense Video to the Force on COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Secretary of Defense addressed the entire workforce to encourage informed decision-making with regards to coronavirus-19 vaccination.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 14, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.