This week we celebrate two events that underscore the service, sacrifice, and dedication of our Armed Forces and remind us of the essential contributions of our One Navy Medicine Team. Today, U.S. Marines around the globe celebrate a 246-year legacy of battlefield skill defined by courage, discipline, loyalty, perseverance, adaptability, leadership, and warfighting innovation. For Navy Medicine, today is a celebration of that shared heritage and our special bonds of service. We have marched with Marines through dirt, sand, and mud to provide lifesaving medical care. From the halls of Montezuma and the shores of Tripoli, at Guantanamo Bay in the Spanish-American War, the Western Front of the First World War, and in every conflict and engagement, we have been comrades-in-arms. To Marines everywhere – and all Navy medical personnel who have served on the Greenside, including the 8,500+ Corpsmen, Dentists, Medical Service Corps Officers, Nurses, and Physicians in BSO-27 billets today – Happy Birthday and Semper Fi!
Tomorrow, we observe Veterans Day. Every Veteran has their own story about entering military service. After the attack at Pearl Harbor, thousands lined up at their local recruitment stations; this same desire to serve echoed decades later following the attacks on 11 September. For some, military life began at an academy or ROTC unit. For others, it started with a draft lottery and notice. Regardless of the path to service, era, or branch — everyone who has worn the uniform has taken a sacred pledge to serve as America’s shield and sword.
To our Veterans past and present – Thank You! You have lighted the path we follow today and have preserved our cherished freedoms. To you we owe our endearing respect and gratitude.
With profound admiration and thanks,
Bruce L. Gillingham, MD, CPE, FAOA, FAAOS
RADM, MC, USN
Surgeon General, U.S. Navy
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery