Air Force Medical Service celebrates 67 years

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Duncan McElroy
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force Medical Service celebrated its 67th anniversary July 1, after being established in 1949.

In September 1947, the combat elements of the Army Air Forces separated from the U.S. Army, forming the U.S. Air Force. A few Air force support functions, such as medical care, remained responsibilities of the Army for the next two years.

Starting in 1948, the Air Surgeon, Maj. Gen. Malcom C. Grow, began to convince the Army and the administration of President Harry Truman that the Air Force needed its own medical service.

In the summer of 1949, Air Force General Order No. 35 established a medical service with the following officer personnel components: Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Women’s Medical Specialist Corps.

The order stated, “The above listed corps shall consist of those personnel transferred from corresponding corps of the Department of the Army, and personnel subsequently commissioned in the respective corps of the Medical Service, United States Air Force. Personnel appointed in the above corps will be carried on separate promotion lists.” Each officer corps also received a contingent of enlisted medics. The effective date of the creation of AFMS was July 1, 1949.

Since its inception, Keesler’s 81st Medical Group has worked to exceed the standards set by AFMS in 1949, consistently garnering major command, Air Force and Defense Department-level recognitions. Last year, the medical group was rated in the top 10 percent of all eligible hospitals for customer service from the TRICARE Inpatient Satisfaction Survey – and was the only DOD hospital to score in the top 10.

“The Dragon Medics of the 81st MDG are proud of AFMS’s 67 years of service to our active duty members and family members, retirees and federal beneficiaries,” said Col. Jeannine Ryder, 81st MDG commander. “We continue to do our best every day to ensure that our patients can be their best physically, mentally and emotionally. We continually evaluate how we can provide the best care, always in a safe and highly reliable manner.”

Today, AFMS consists of more than 44,000 healthcare professionals that deliver “Trusted Care, Anywhere” to more than 2.2 million Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and their families.

“I believe we have the best job in the Air Force because we serve the very best patients in the world,” Ryder said.

Information from an Air Force Medical Service product was used for this story. To view the original story, click here.

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