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Slide Presentation 9

Army Nurse Corps History Home > Army Nursing History in Pictures > History of the Army Nurse Corps, Slide Presentation with Narration

HISTORY OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS
(Slide Presentation with Narration)

VIETNAM WAR

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Hostilities in the Republic of Vietnam set the tone for the

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60's as the ANC responded to the needs of the nation once again.

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Beginning with the assignment of the 8th Field Hospital in Nha

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Trang, in Mar 62, over 5,000 Army Nurses served in support of the

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combat troops. The progressive nature of the buildup in Vietnam placed unique demands on the Corps. We were asked to provide full peacetime services in CONUS and Europe while meeting the

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requirements of the combat forces in Vietnam. All this without the massive mobilization for war characteristic of the previous conflicts overseas.

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The Army Student Nurse Program and the Walter Reed Institute of Nursing helped to meet the long term needs of the Corps. The

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short lived warrant officer program allowed the appointment of associate degree nursing graduates as warrant officers. This program, however did not make an appreciable impact on the strength of the Corps and was terminated two years later. The shortage of nurses to serve in Army medical facilities was

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severe. In 1966, for the first time in U.S. history, the Selective Service System issued a special draft call for 900 male nurses for the Army and Navy Nurse Corps. Although discussed,

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legislation to draft female nurses was never introduced by Congress. Vietnam sparked an evolution in trauma and combat casualty care. Nursing care reflected this increased sophistication.

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Continued progress in medical evacuation made ICU nursing the standard rather than the exception. Trauma care specialization as well as shock/trauma units grew from this experience.

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Army Nurse Corps officers served with distinction in Vietnam. Nine officers, including seven women, died there,

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one as a result of hostile fire. 1LT Sharon Lane, died of shrapnel wounds during a rocket attack on 8 June 69, while on duty at the 312th Evac Hospital in Chu Lai. The Army decorated hundreds of nurses for bravery and distinguished service. 1LT

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Diane Lindsey received the Soldier's Medal after she convinced a confused soldier to safely hand over two grenades. In 1967, landmark legislation removed the limitations on military grades, and made the age criteria for mandatory retirement for females the same as that of males. On

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11 Jun 1970, Anna Mae Hays, the 13th Chief of the ANC made history when she became the first female ever promoted to the rank of general officer in the U.S. Armed Forces.


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page created 22 December 2000


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