U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
Skip Navigation, go to content

HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY

AMEDD BIOGRAPHIES

AMEDD CORPS HISTORY

BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS

HISTORICAL ART WORK & IMAGES

MEDICAL MEMOIRS

AMEDD MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS External Link, Opens in New Window

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORIES

THE SURGEONS GENERAL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SURGEON GENERAL

AMEDD UNIT PATCHES AND LINEAGE

THE AMEDD HISTORIAN NEWSLETTER

ANNUAL REPORT THE SURGEON GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY Fiscal Year 1960

Annual Report the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1960

MEDICAL RESERVE PROGRAM

For the third consecutive year, the overall Medical Reserve Program found itself between two opposing pressures-the one attempting by budgetary restrictions to reduce its size, the other insisting that its current strength should be the minimal requirement. Unfortunately, this again resulted in plans early in the fiscal year to reduce both personnel and supporting facilities, followed later in the year by decisions which required renewed efforts to procure personnel. It was inevitable that young individuals, whose interest in Reserve matters had been aroused and who then were refused assignment to a unit, would become somewhat cynical when later attempts were made to obtain their applications. Beyond this, there was a broader and more disturbing feature-the growing anxiety resulting from the continued inability to resolve the conflicting arguments and opinions concerning the future of the Reserve program and to achieve a unity of thought and purpose.

 Troop Program

Most of the new units and detachments, which were added to the Reserve Forces Troop Program under the revision accomplished in fiscal year 1959, have now been activated and are approaching effective strength levels. All those which required reorganization have made the adjustments with minimal delay and confusion.

Status of Units

Because of the conflicting influences previously noted, relatively little change occurred in the size of most Reserve units during fiscal year 1960, except for some increase in officer strength in the MC-DC Branches. There were also some slight increases within units of ANC and AMSC officer assignments, but these were offset by losses within control groups (units established by area commanders to administer Army Reserve personnel not otherwise assigned).

Of major significance from the training standpoint was the high proportion of hospital-type units which are now conducting annual active-duty training by performing actual patient-care missions.

While unit training at home locations has increasingly involved the use of civilian, VA, and military hospitals for its facilities and equipment support, it has been augmented to an exceptional degree by the improved training available during the summer, with an evident overall benefit from every consideration.


154

Actions and Programs

In view of the continued shortage of female officers in hospital-type units, it was determined that the unfilled spaces should be used, on a temporary basis, for the training of company-grade MSC officers as field medical assistants (MOS 3506). These officers could remain with the unit upon mobilization, but in no case beyond the time that the officer having the proper MOS became available. The same arrangement is also contemplated for officers of certain other corps which are extremely limited in spaces within the peacetime Reserve program.

Continued attempts are being made to incorporate into the Reserve structure the advantages of upgrading which are included in the Regular Army structure for ANC and AMSC officers. Partial success was attained on 30 June 1960 when the President signed H.R. 8186, a bill to amend ROPA (Reserve Officer Personnel Act of 1954). This amendment raises the top authorized rank for ANC officers in the Reserve from lieutenant colonel to colonel and for AMSC officers, from major to colonel, and also provides that officers of these two corps will be selected for promotion to the rank of major on a "fully qualified" instead of a "best qualified" basis. An additional provision makes it mandatory that officers in Reserve units, as well as nonunit officers, be considered for promotion upon completion of minimum periods in grade. This, in effect, will tend to "promote out of a unit" many of the present ANC and AMSC officers because of the limited number of spaces available in Reserve TOE units for those in the rank of captain or above. Technical delays have maintained an effective block to any progress toward upgrading in the Reserve TOE structure, thus producing a serious handicap in procuring qualified personnel to fill vacancies in which critical shortages exist. Superimposed upon the shortages resulting from this failure to obtain upgrading will be the loss to units of those ANC and AMSC officers whose promotions force them out of Reserve units.

The approval, on 25 August 1959, of Public Law 86-197 brought to a successful conclusion the efforts by the Army Medical Service to obtain the necessary legislative action to grant credit as commissioned service in computing retirement benefits for duty performed by Reserve ANC and AMSC officers before they attained commissioned status.

With the signing of H.R. 8186 by the President, military careers of more reasonable length can now be anticipated for AMEDS Reserve officers. The revised act provides the Secretary of the Army with the authority to retain MC, DC, ANC, and AMSC reservists in an active status within the Reserve, with their consent, until they reach 60 years of age. The Secretary of the Army immediately exercised this authority


155

and this should reduce the large number of losses which had been expected in these corps on 2 July 1960 and during the next 5 years.

What might be considered as a highly significant modification of policy has been proposed to the Department of the Army and to other Defense agencies. Publication of a Department of the Army circular announcing the new policy is expected early in fiscal year 1961. This would permit medical and dental officers who, as an exception to Executive Order 10714 of June 1956, are subject to involuntary call to active duty if they have not already completed 12 months or more of active duty, to be protected from such involuntary call except as members of their units in time of national emergency, provided they are assigned to and participate satisfactorily with a TOE or TD unit of the Ready Reserve. The procurement potential created by this change of policy, coupled with the retention provision now provided by ROPA, should, within 2 years, fill the available MC and DC spaces in the U.S. Army Reserve Troop Program.

Advisory Council Meeting

The currently authorized annual meeting of the Advisory Council to The Surgeon General for Reserve Affairs was held at the Office of The Surgeon General on 21-22 November 1959. Brig. Gen. Manfred U. Prescott, MC, USAR, attended his final meeting in an active status as he became eligible for transfer to the Retired Reserve on 30 November 1959. An addition to the council was Brig. Gen. James H. Kidder, MC, USAR, who has been the Special Assistant to The Surgeon General for Reserve Affairs since July 1955.

Subjects of special concern discussed by the Council included (1) methods designed to increase interest and participation on the part of physicians and nurses in the AMEDS Reserve, particularly in view of the contemplated losses which would result from the provision of ROPA; (2) the Emergency Medical Care Program; (3) cyclic training for USAR medical units; and (4) the shortage of unit advisers suitable for AMEDS units.

Reserve Training

The one-time evaluation of military educational levels for all Reserve officers was accomplished under the provisions of DA Circular 135-13, dated 24 July 1959. Concurrently, USCONARC announced certain minimal requirements for the various grades which, if not met, would cancel current unit assignments and likewise would preclude eligibility for promotion. Some modification of this program for officers of the various corps of the Army Medical Service was accomplished, since


156

Advisory Council to The Surgeon General on Reserve Affairs. Front row, from left, Brig. Gen. Harold G. Scheie, MC, USAR; Brig. Gen. Alexander Marble, MC, USAR; Brig. Gen. Frank E. Wilson, MC, USAR; and Brig Gen. Harold C. Lueth, MC, USAR. Middle row, from left, Brig. Gen. Manfred U. Prescott, MC, USAR; Brig. Gen. Truman G. Blocker, Jr., MC, USAR; Brig. Gen. Carl S. Junkermann, MC, USAR; and Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Bosworth, MC, USAR. Rear, from left, Brig. Gen. James H. Kidder, MC, USAR; Brig. Gen. David E. Mayer, MC, USAR; and Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Fox, DC, USAR

these officers were constantly obtaining their MOS training while engaged in their civilian occupations and in many cases did not require portions of the prescribed material for optimum performance of their assigned duties.

The course entitled "Medical Military Training Program for Armed Forces Medical Department Officers," which for several years has been provided by the Navy, was again made available at the U.S. Naval Medical School, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., 13-25 March 1960, and was attended by 136 AMEDS officers (USAR and National Guard).

The second annual course, "Military Entomology," sponsored by the U.S. Naval Medical School and presented by the Armed Forces Pest Control Board, was conducted 3-16 August 1959. Ten AMEDS Reserve officers attended this advanced trading program.

The U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education,


157

and Welfare, continued to provide two courses at the Robert H. Taft Engineering Center, Cincinnati, for sanitary engineers who hold Reserve commissions. These courses, "Basic Radiological Health" and "Community Air Pollution," were conducted concurrently this year, 6-18 June 1960, with eight spaces provided in each for AMEDS Reserve officers.

The number of spaces available to USAR medical service officers in LOGEX 60, annual logistic command post exercise, was increased this year, with a resulting attendance of 14 officers.

Operation BIG SLAM-PUERTO PINE, in March 1960, the largest airlift training exercise ever held in peacetime, involved all components of the Army and authorized the attachment of AMEDS Reserve officers to bring the units up to authorized strength. This was the first participation by AMEDS Reserve components in training exercises outside the continental limits of the United States.

Uncertainties concerning the total size of the Reserve forces continued to make unpredictable the numbers of personnel to be assigned to units through the RFA-55 (Reserve Forces Act of 1955) 6-month active-duty-for-training program. This has been reflected in a shortage of volunteers during periods when authorization and training spaces were available and conversely, on not infrequent occasions, an excess of volunteers when procurement was interrupted. These uncertainties tend to create an adverse reaction on the part of those who might or should have an interest in Reserve matters.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS