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

PHYSICAL STANDARDS

The final draft of AR 40-501A, covering the first of two new regulations which will consolidate more than 200 Army directives on medical fitness standards and medical examinations, was approved by the Department of the Army and then sent to the Department of Defense for review, since induction standards were included in the new regulations. The three military medical services reached agreement in all fields except dental standards. Publication of AR 40-501B, the companion regulations to AR 40-501A, will be delayed until a new physical profile system is developed in conjunction with DCSPER (Deputy Chief of


48

Staff for Personnel), DCSOPS (Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations), and The Adjutant General.

Changes 7 and 8 to AR 40-500 (miscellaneous medical fitness standards) and Changes 6 to AR 40-110 (flying medical fitness standards), published in fiscal year 1960, were significant chiefly for their provisions requiring increased use of audiometry in AFES and of electrocardiograms in flight medical examinations, and for new vision and dental standards for applicants to the U.S. Military Academy. The Physical Standards Office, OTSG, is giving consideration to proposed improvements in the procedures pertaining to partially disabled personnel that are currently contained in AR 616-41.

TABLE 11.-Total calls for inductees, fiscal years 1957 through 1960

Month

1960

1959

1958

1957

July

8,000

10,000

13,000

13,000

August

7,000

10,000

11,000

13,000

September

7,000

11,000

8,000

14,000

October

9,000

11,000

7,000

17,000

November

9,000

11,000

7,000

17,000

December

9,000

11,000

7,000

17,000

January

7,000

9,000

10,000

17,000

February

6,000

9,000

13,000

14,000

March

6,000

8,000

13,000

14,000

April

6,000

7,000

13,000

13,000

May

8,000

6,000

13,000

13,000

June

5,000

6,000

10,000

13,000

    

Total

87,000

109,000

125,000

175,000

Source: Annual Reports of the Director of Selective Service.

The Surgeon General initiated action during the year to improve the policies and procedures of the medical and physical evaluation boards, particularly in regard to the disposition of patients and the separation of Army personnel for physical disabilities. He is concerned by the fact that there will be a sharp increase in the workload of these boards during the next 5 years because of the large number of individuals who will become eligible for retirement. Approximately 120,000 personnel are now on the Army retired list. From fiscal year 1961 through fiscal year 1965, it is estimated that 85,000 more will be retired. Most of these are Reserve personnel who entered the service during World War II and who will be completing 20 years of military service. Some will be individuals requesting retirement for physical disability.


49

an analysis of quarterly reports from The Adjutant General's Office revealed that about one-fourth of all physical evaluation board proceedings reviewed by the Department of the Army have to be modified or returned for correction.

The Surgeon General suggested methods for improving the physical disability procedures at a briefing of DCSPER, at his request, on 13 July 1959. The latter was advised that much could be accomplished through (1) improvement of training efforts relative to disposition procedures, (2) the assignment of the best qualified medical officers to medical and other boards involved in physical disability procedures, (3) a more critical review of board procedures by appropriate medical staffs before transmittal to higher authorities, and (4) a continuing effort to ensure that patients are well informed as to their rights and privileges.

At the annual Joint Conference of Army Surgeons and Medical Center and Class II Hospital Commanders, 12-13 November 1959, The Surgeon General urged hospital commanders to supplement the training on disposition procedures given to new medical officers at the Army Medical Service School by orientation courses at the station level and by any other measures they deemed necessary to improve the role of the Medical Service in the retirement program.

The Physical Standards Office became more and more occupied during the year with giving medical opinions in judicial and quasi-judicial cases. The office undertook, with the consent of the Department of Justice, the Judge Advocate General, and the Legal Office, OTSG, to provide comprehensive medical opinions for use in defense of Army physical disability cases in the Court of Claims to obtain the necessary medical witnesses. This action was considered necessary because, since the Court of Claims recently decided it had jurisdiction over these cases, the Government has lost most of them. It is hoped that the new procedures will bring more favorable results and, as a byproduct, reduce the increasing number of ABCMR (Army Board for the Correction of Military Records) cases referred to the Physical Standards Office for lengthy written opinions (more than 400 in fiscal year 1960). In addition, Congress reopened hearings on the physical disability claims resulting from the Texas City disaster of 1947, thus necessitating the utilization of two additional MC (Medical Corps) officers on a temporary basis to handle some 250 claims expected to be processed.

The Surveys and Research Corporation, Washington, D.C., continued work on a project to determine the usefulness of retaining in the Army personnel with certain ailments, such as asthma, peptic ulcer, and coronary disease, which makes their retention controversial. Mechanical reproduction of Standard Forms 88 and 89 (used for recording medical examinations and medical history) to eliminate repetitive typing


50

proved feasible, and new translucent versions of these forms were standardized and distributed.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS