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

Chapter I

Contents

CHAPTER I

Composition of the Medical Department 

INTRODUCTION

In the years immediately following World War II, changes in organization and policy were made that should eliminate or modify some of the personnel difficulties that make up much of the subject matter of this book. Important among these postwar developments is the centering of responsibility for health and medical aspects of mobilization planning and for the maintenance of effective relations with the public health and medical professions at the level of the Secretary of Defense. Other improvements include the continuously current professional classification of both civilian and Army doctors; adjustments in rank and pay of medical and dental officers; the extension of compulsory military service to special groups; desegregation throughout the Army; the appointment of women doctors in the Regular Army Medical Corps, and of male officers in the Army Nurse Corps; and the establishment of standards for graduates of foreign medical schools. All of these changes deal with areas in which the problems of the Medical Department differ in kind or in degree from those of the Army as a whole-problems accentuated by the same wartime conditions that demanded they be resolved.

At peak strength in 1944, the Department comprised approximately 700,000 military personnel, about 8.5 percent of the entire Army. This figure does not include a substantial number of individuals from other branches of the military service who served under Medical Department command-among them chaplains, engineers, and about a fifth of the members of the Women's Army Corps. In addition, the Department employed perhaps as many as 150,000 civilians in the Zone of Interior and overseas. In both areas, some 80,000 prisoners of war were also detailed to the Medical Department to assist in its work. The variety of personnel was reflected particularly in the number of officer components. Before the end of the war, there were nine of these-the Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Sanitary, Medical Administrative, Pharmacy, and Nurse Corps, the Hospital Dietitians, and the Physical Therapists.

Although the responsibilities of the Department were administrative as well as medical, the availability of doctors was the major limiting factor in officer procurement throughout the war. The output of the medical schools was never great enough to meet the demand, nor was it possible to draw enough physicians from civilian practice to make up the deficit.

The functions of the Medical Department were preventive as well as curative, and extended not only to men and women but also to the relatively small


2

number of animals-chiefly dogs, horses, and mules-that were used by the Army. The preventive program included sanitation in connection with messes, waste disposal, water supplies, and housing; measures for the control of venereal disease; immunization against many common and some uncommon diseases; personal hygiene; food inspection; proper nutrition; and insect and rodent control. The program also extended to epidemiological studies, and the supervision of public health in occupied territories. Another essentially preventive function of the Medical Department was the physical examination of all persons entering or leaving the Army and of many on numerous occasions in between. In addition to research of a strictly clinical nature, the Medical Department was required to engage in "research and experimentation connected with the development and improvement of Medical Department material, equipment, and supplies."1

At the higher levels, administrative functions, too, were performed by doctors, since Medical Corps officers alone could command organizations dealing with the treatment, hospitalization, and evacuation of patients, except in an emergency when no such officers were available.2 Medical Corps officers also performed staff functions such as directing the medical service of nonmedical units, advising commanders and their staffs on medical matters. The commander of every nonmedical organization the size of a battalion or larger normally had a medical officer on his staff. Specific staff responsibilities extended to medical supply, training, and the maintenance of clinical and allied medical records.

Although not legally bound to do so, the Medical Department, insofar as practical, had always cared for Army dependents and for certain civilians overseas. This was extended during the war to include prisoners of war and patients belonging to the U.S. Navy, other Federal agencies, American enterprises engaged in the war effort, and Allied forces when their treatment elsewhere was impracticable. This particular demand on the Medical Department was offset to some extent by the medical service of our Navy and by those of Allied countries, especially Great Britain.

In the 2 years before Pearl Harbor, the Medical Department, like the Army in general, attained a size unprecedented in peacetime. The problems related to this growth were certainly more difficult than any the Department had encountered since the First World War. Starting with a small complement of officers, nurses, and enlisted men and a personnel organization more suited to the needs of peace than of war, the Medical Department had to carry out the process of rapid expansion at the same time that it adjusted its recruiting effort to the quotas permitted by the War Department. The expansion involved building up the Reserves as well as the active forces, and was partly achieved by re-creating a system of unit reserves, or affiliated units. In enlarging its strength, the Medical Department encountered further problems,

1Army Regulations No. 40-5, 15 Jan. 1926.
2
Army Regulations No. 40-10, Changes No. 1, 25 July 1935.


3

among others the difficulty-at a time when civilian medical service was more than ever in demand-of inducing professional people to enter the Army in large numbers and of keeping them in it once they had been secured. Partly as the result of these difficulties, the Medical Department had to improve its methods of classifying and assigning personnel so as to make the best use of its manpower. Meanwhile, the Department had to consider how or whether to utilize certain special groups, such as Negroes (doctors, dentists, and nurses) and graduates of foreign medical schools.

The first 2 years of war likewise had their special characteristics. Perhaps the most salient feature was that procurement became more important than it was before or afterward; the Medical Department, like the rest of the Army, obtained most of its personnel at this time. The advent of war made the affiliated units available for use, and the process of bringing them into service during 1942 and 1943 raised new problems of personnel administration. At this time, also, the final steps were taken to conserve the supply of students of medicine for the future use of the Army and of the civilian community.

In late 1943, definite ceilings were placed on certain important categories of medical personnel. As a result, the problem from then on became not so much one of obtaining more personnel as of using the men and women already in service as efficiently as possible. Measures for the latter purpose were developed or initiated during this period, even though they were carried still further later on. Thus, at the very beginning of the war, certain congressional enactments and War Department directives relaxed the physical standards required for officers, extended the term of military service, and enabled the Army to deploy its personnel more as it saw fit.

Also, during the first 2 years of the war, the system of rank and promotion Army-wide was basically remodelled. The only pay increase of the war for enlisted men and officers was provided by Congress in 1942. Late in the same year, two new female components of the Medical Department were created-the Physical Therapists and the Hospital Dietitians-and in 1943 a new male officer component, the Pharmacy Corps. These were the only Medical Department components added during the war.

Also, toward the end of 1942, a Committee to Study the Medical Department of the Army examined, as one of its fields of inquiry, various phases of medical personnel administration. The Committee, appointed by the Secretary of War and consisting of six civilian and two retired Army doctors, a hospital administrator, and a representative of Headquarters, Army Service Forces, ranged over a wide area in the course of its investigation including, besides personnel matters, the organization of the Surgeon General's Office and its place in the War Department structure, medical supply, and the efficiency of Medical Department installations.3

3For a full account of the Committee and all aspects of its work, see Medical Department, United States Army. Organization and Administration in World War II. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963, pp. 145-185.


4

In certain other fields of personnel administration, developments occurred which continued into the later war years. Thus, the organization and responsibilities for personnel management began to change radically in a number of ways shortly after the beginning of the war, but did not reach their final form until later. During this period, also, the Medical Department considerably widened its use of special groups, but without arriving at a final solution of the problem.

The later war years were marked by several new trends, beginning in the summer and fall of 1943. In the realm of organization and responsibility for personnel affairs in the Zone of Interior, there was a tendency to revise the organization of the Surgeon General's Office so as to obtain more detailed knowledge of personnel resources; at the same time, the movement continued to centralize in his Office more control over personnel, and also to restore the personnel authority of the service command surgeons, all of which reversed the trend of the early war years. In this matter of procurement, while that process continued to occupy much of the Medical Department's attention, it was restricted not only by the ceilings imposed on Medical and Dental Corps strength but by the greater difficulty of obtaining doctors, nurses, and enlisted men. As a result, more emphasis was placed on measures to offset these restrictions on procurement. For one thing, there was a greater tendency to supplement the categories of personnel in short supply-or to replace them in certain kinds of work-with other types of personnel more readily obtainable. There were also new estimates of personnel requirements and further improvements in utilization. At the same time that these developments were taking place, policies concerning promotion and rank were revised, while conditions surrounding the use of Negroes and Japanese-Americans also changed. The outstanding feature of this period in the field of personnel, however, is that the Medical Department adjusted itself to the exigencies of war by more intensive cultivation of the resources at hand. Nevertheless, long before the end of the war, the business of adjustment to a restricted area of war and ultimately to a peacetime situation came under consideration; the problems of redeployment and demobilization seemed to press for an even quicker settlement than those of worldwide war itself.

MILITARY COMPONENTS

At the head of the Medical Department before, during, and after the war was The Surgeon General. A Federal statute provided that he should have the rank of major general and should be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.4 A further statute provided for four assistants, appointed in the same way, with the rank of brigadier general, one of whom must be an officer in the Dental Corps.5

4 41 Stat. 766.
552 Stat. 8. The law, approved on 29 January 1938, was made retroactive to 1 July 1937.


5

Prewar Period, 1939-41

Until the passage of the Selective Training and Service Act on 16 September 1940, the Army contained three traditional components: The Regular Army, the Reserves, and the National Guard. The Regular Army comprised officers and enlisted men who were on active duty at all times; the Reserves were intended to meet the need for additional officers and enlisted men during an early period of mobilization; and the National Guard was designed to serve in case of emergency or actual hostilities. Both the Reserves and National Guard were organized into units similar to those of the Regular Army, but the Reserve units were largely paper ones.

After the passage of the Selective Service Act, the Army contained a body of officers and enlisted men who were referred to simply as "Army of the United States personnel"; that is, officers commissioned in the Army of the United States but not necessarily in any of the components just mentioned, and enlisted men not designated as members of one of these three components.6 During the war, this Army of the United States personnel came to constitute by far the largest part of the Army.

Prior to World War II, the Medical Department contained seven military components-five officer corps whose members held full commissioned rank (the Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Sanitary, and Medical Administrative Corps), one whose members held relative rank (the Army Nurse Corps), and a body of enlisted men.

In 1939, all Medical Department officer corps except the Sanitary Corps were represented in the Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Reserves; the Sanitary Corps existed only in the Reserves. Reserve officers took correspondence courses, upon the completion of which they were awarded certificates of capacity entitling them to promotion when they had served the prescribed time in grade. Many of the older officers were men who had transferred to the Reserve Corps after World War I. Others had been commissioned upon the completion of professional training, having taken the prescribed training in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps units in medical schools. Medical Department officers and enlisted men of the National Guard had considerable experience with military medicine through their year-round armory-instruction program and the extensive training provided at camps each summer. The Regular Army had a complement of nurses, the National Guard had none, while the Reserve of the Nurse Corps consisted of nurses registered with the American National Red Cross. The Regular Army, National Guard, and Reserves each had a complement of Medical Department enlisted men.

Prior to the establishment of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), only small numbers of Medical Department Reserve officers served on active duty for longer periods than the usual 14-day tour each year. After the initiation of 

6Many Regular Army officers held temporary commissions with higher rank in the Army of the United States. In the War Department statistics, the term "AUS enlisted personnel" is reserved for volunteers in that category; others are listed separately as "selectees."


6

the CCC, however, medical, dental, and veterinary officers were assigned to it in substantial numbers, and during the fiscal year ending on 30 June 1939, a total of 889 Reserve officers were on duty with the corps. Thereafter, Reserve officers so engaged, instead of serving on active military duty were to serve as contract surgeons or as civilian employees.7

The Medical Corps

The Medical Corps was the original component of the Medical Department and remained the core of that organization. As it consisted only of officers who held the degree of doctor of medicine from an acceptable college or university and who had passed the required examinations, its professional duties could be defined mainly as those incident to the practice of military medicine. Medical officers also performed certain command and staff functions, as already mentioned.8

Both professional and administrative duties ordinarily assigned to members of the Medical Corps were also shared on occasion by contract surgeons, although no firm determination was ever made as to their actual legal status in the Medical Department. They spanned the military and civilian components, being deprived of certain advantages of military service but sharing in some of the civilian ones. In the early days of the Medical Department, they were used extensively even on foreign service, and from this group, many outstanding members of the Regular Army were recruited. In the interim between the wars, they furnished the only medical service provided to troops stationed at arsenals and armories throughout the country and gave emergency treatment to the civilians employed at these stations. Some served on a full-time, others on a part-time basis, but the pay either way was relatively small. They had a small complement of enlisted men who usually served long periods at one station. Both the contract surgeon and his enlisted assistants were held in high regard by the officers and their families. Children, it is said, would often run to the infirmary for treatment of minor injuries, or for comfort, instead of going home. Later, many contract surgeons were used to furnish medical care to the enrollees of the Civilian Conservation Corps. During the war, they were to make a notable contribution at depots and industrial plants under Army control.

The Dental Corps

The Dental Corps, established in 1911, was responsible for the dental service of the Army. Members of the corps ordinarily were assigned duties directly connected with the prevention and treatment of dental diseases and deficiencies. They were also declared to be eligible for employment in other duties determined by the needs of the service and the training and experience of the officers

7Annual Report of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939, p. 183.
8Army Regulations No. 40-10, 9 Jan. 1924.


7

concerned.9 Each officer of the corps was a graduate of an acceptable dental college. The dental officer who served as one of the four assistants to The Surgeon General10 administered the dental service of the Army and headed the Dental Division of the Surgeon General's Office.

The Veterinary Corps

The Veterinary Corps, created by the National Defense Act of 1916, required its officers to be graduates of approved veterinary schools. Their duties fell into two general classes-those pertaining to the inspection of foods of animal origin procured or used by the Army and those having to do with the care and management of Army animals. The members also trained and directed the enlisted personnel of the Medical Department assigned for duty to the corps. The inspection of foods rather than animal care was the principal activity of Veterinary Corps officers in World War II. This inspection, in the United States and overseas, covered the sanitary and other quality factors in foods of animal origin during their procurement, storage, shipment, issue, and other handling by the Army. Only veterinary officers commanded veterinary units.11

The Medical Administrative Corps

While the duties of Medical Administrative Corps officers were nowhere stated in Army regulations, an act of 24 June 1936 provided that appointments to the Regular Army component thereafter should be made from pharmacists who were graduates of recognized schools or colleges of pharmacy.12 But neither this component nor the one which absorbed it in 1943-the Pharmacy Corps-was ever made up exclusively of pharmacists, nor was training in pharmacy ever made a prerequisite to commissioning in either the Reserve or Army of the United States sections of the corps. Most members therefore performed a variety of other duties, serving, for example, as adjutant, medical supply officer, mess officer, and training officer.

The Sanitary Corps

The Sanitary Corps Reserve had no members on active duty at the beginning of 1939. Qualifications for appointment were possession of a degree signifying completion of a 4-year technical or scientific college course in the specialty for which the candidate was selected and 3 years' experience in a "highly specialized occupation or scientific specialty pertaining to the functions of the Medical Department such as chemistry, food and nutrition, hospital architecture, procurement and manufacture of medical supplies, psy-

9Army Regulations No. 40-15, 20 Apr. 1939. This eligibility was eliminated from the regulation in the revision of 8 August 1945.
10See footnote 5, p. 4.
11Army Regulations No. 605-20, 1939, and Army Regulations No. 40-2260, 1939.
1249 Stat. 1902.


8

chology,13 public health, sanitary engineering, and other appropriate vocations." In lieu of a college education, the candidate might present evidence of sufficient general and technical knowledge gained by study, training, and years of experience to demonstrate his fitness for the corps. The requirement became somewhat more rigid in 1940; nevertheless, the prewar conditions for appointment have been described as "very loosely drawn."14 In 1942, however, it became necessary for a sanitary engineer or an entomologist entering the corps to possess not only the appropriate academic degree but 4 years of satisfactory experience. About 2 years later, the pressing need for personnel caused a cut in the experience requirement to 2 years. Afterward, the processes of the Army Specialized Training Program replaced these requirements. Members of the Sanitary Corps, besides performing duties appropriate to their special training, came to be used frequently to relieve Medical Corps officers of certain administrative duties.

The Army Nurse Corps

At the outbreak of the war, the Army Nurse Corps consisted of a superintendent, assistant superintendents, chief nurses, and nurses. Until 1944, when the nurses achieved full commissioned status, all held "relative rank,"15 with some of the rights and privileges accorded commissioned officers. To be professionally qualified for appointment to the corps, the applicant had to be a registered nurse with at least 2 years of general hospital training or equivalent experience.16 The duties of nurses, defined in detail by Army regulations, were the customary functions of hospital nurses, with the additional ones of supervising and administering the nursing service-which included responsibility for overseeing the work of enlisted personnel serving on the wards.

The Nurse Corps was composed entirely of women, although, in late 1942, a suggestion was made that men should be appointed to it for service in psychiatric and genitourinary wards.17 Toward the end of the war, after the nurses had attained full commissioned rank, there was some agitation in favor of appointing men to the corps for general nursing service, but the Army argued against it successfully on the ground that the performance of certain

13Army Regulations No. 140-33, 30 July 1936. Psychology was omitted from the list in Army Regulations No. 140-38, 15 Dec. 1940.
14Hardenbergh, W. A.: Organization and Administration of Sanitary Engineering Division. [Official record.]
15"Relative rank" as officially defined meant "comparative rank or position of authority among officers holding the same grade" (War Department Technical Manual 20-205, Dictionary of U.S. Army Terms, 18 Jan. 1944). Unofficially, the term generally denoted something less than full military rank. For convenience, it is used in the latter sense in this volume.
16Army Regulations No. 40-20, 31 Dec. 1934, with changes thereto. Although the wording of this regulation was changed subsequently in such a way that it could be interpreted to mean that formal training could be entirely replaced by experience, there is reason to believe that only applicants having formal training were appointed. Also, the requirement that applicants for the "permanent establishment" had to be registered nurses was omitted, perhaps inadvertently, from the issue of the same regulation for 5 April 1943, but was restored by Changes No. 6, 22 June 1944.
17Report of the Committee to Study the Medical Department of the Army, 1942.


9

nursing tasks would ruin a man's usefulness as an officer in the eyes of enlisted men.18 Since World War II, male nurses have been accepted, first in the Reserve and more recently in the Regular Army, where they have amply proved their worth.

Enlisted personnel

The enlisted component, unlike other components of the Medical Department, had no special entrance requirements; qualifications were simply those for admission to the enlisted ranks of the Army as a whole. Certain practices were adopted which can hardly be called real exceptions to this rule, such as the recruitment of technicians by the Women's Army Corps for the use of the Medical Department. The Army also made an effort, by its classification and assignment system, to channel enlisted personnel with appropriate experience into the Medical Department. But the vast majority came into the Department with no such special background and had to be trained after they arrived.

World War II, 1941-45

The strength of the Medical Department on 7 December 1941 was approximately 131,600 (table 1).19 Throughout the rapid expansion that followed American entry into the war, the five original male officer corps retained their sections in the Regular Army, the Reserves, and the National Guard. The Nurse Corps, too, retained its Regular Army section, and nurses also began to come on duty as members of the Reserve. Eventually, officers of all of these corps were directly commissioned in the Army of the United States.

New military components were added to the Department in the course of the war, the hospital dietitians and the physical therapists in 1942, and the Pharmacy Corps in 1943. Dietitians and therapists, like the nurses, at first held only relative rank, but all three groups achieved commissioned status in 1944.

Dietitians and physical therapists

The administrative histories of the dietitian and physical therapist groups, including the process by which their members attained officer status, are so similar that they can be considered together.20

18Letter, The Deputy Surgeon General, to Miss Inez D. Mooney, Houston, Tex., 27 Feb. 1945.
19
Strength figures for the war years vary depending on whether they are based on records kept in the Surgeon General's Office or on records of The Adjutant General.
20Unless otherwise noted, the account which follows is based on (1) the manuscript history of each group written by its director and (2) letter, Col. Emma E. Vogel, USA (Ret.), to Col. J. B. Coates, Jr., MC, USA, Director, Historical Unit, U.S. Army Medical Service, 28 Mar. 1956. Both groups are treated in greater detail in a forthcoming volume in this series dealing with the Army Medical Specialist Corps, into which they were eventually absorbed.


10-15

TABLE 1.-Strength of Medical Department, by components (exclusive of general officers), by months, 30 June 1939-30 June 1946

[Office of The Surgeon General's data in Arabic numerals; The Adjutant General's data in italics]


16

Both dietitians and physical therapists had worked in Army hospitals in World War I as civilians. In the years between the two World Wars, they continued to be employed as civilians in the Medical Department, being assigned in small numbers to all of the general and large station hospitals. In the early 1920's, training courses were established at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C., and the graduates of these courses filled most of the vacancies in Army hospitals from 1922 to 1939. In 1938, both dietitians and physical therapists were brought into the competitive civil service system.

After Pearl Harbor, it became apparent that civil service registers could not fill the demand for these two categories and that recruitment, administrative control, and professional supervision should rest in the Office of The Surgeon General. In January 1942, Miss Helen C. Burns, Chief Dietitian at Walter Reed General Hospital, and Miss Emma E. Vogel, Chief Physical Therapist there, were assigned to the Surgeon General's Office on a part-time basis. Eight months later, both were appointed superintendents of their respective groups and part time became full time.

The need for military status for dietitians and physical therapists became more imperative as they assumed positions of greater responsibility in which they supervised military personnel. As civilian employees, they could not be ordered to stations outside the United States, where their services were badly needed, although they could volunteer for oversea service. Hospital units designated for oversea service, as well as those in the United States, seldom had their full quota in either category.


17

On 22 December 1942, an act of Congress21 provided that female dietetic and physical therapy personnel should be members of the Medical Department for the duration of the war and 6 months thereafter. Their rank was to be relative, but they were given the pay (including longevity pay), allowances for subsistence and rental of quarters, and mileage and other travel allowances for commissioned officers, without dependents, of the Regular Army in grades from second lieutenant through captain.22 Early in January 1943, on recommendation of The Surgeon General, the Secretary of War appointed the directors of these two groups in the relative rank of major, the first appointments under the new law. It was not until June 1944 that Congress granted full commissioned rank in the Army of the United States to the three female components of the Medical Department-nurses, dietitians, and physical therapists.23 This action placed them on a par with all other commissioned officers, male and female. It conferred on them certain important rights and privileges not granted by their previous status.24 The same law also gave the members of the Army Nurse Corps full officer status.

Pharmacy Corps

Unlike the dietitians and physical therapists, pharmacists in the Army already had military status, most of them being enlisted men. In the late 1930's, Congress had decreed that only pharmacists should be eligible for the Medical Administrative Corps of the Regular Army and that the strength of this component should be limited to 16 members.25 Since the law did not provide that the corps should be reduced immediately, the desired strength was achieved through attrition. Pharmacists, however, wanted not only a larger officer corps but one bearing their name, and their insistence increased following American entrance into the war.26 But Maj. Gen. James C. Magee (fig. 1), The Surgeon General, did not favor legislation of a permanent character during the emergency and stated that "no purpose would be served by legislation affecting a minor component * * * at this time." He further stated that regulations assured the proper dispensing of drugs and prescriptions and that "the organization of a Pharmacy Corps to discharge this responsibility is not indicated." To charges that pharmaceutical service in the Army was "deplorable,"

2156 Stat. 1072.
22Army Regulations No. 40-25, 9 Apr. 1943, formulated procedures and requirements for appointment to both groups and for personnel administration in them.
23(1) 58 Stat. 324. (2) Executive Order 9454, 10 July 1944.
24In 1947, an act of Congress (61 Stat. 41) combined the dietitians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists (who had never had officer status) into a new Regular Army element of the Medical Department, the Women's Medical Specialist Corps.
25(1) See footnote 12, p. 7. (2) 53 Stat. 559.
26(1) Letter, Hon. J. P. Wolcott, to Secretary of War, 13 Oct. 1942. (2) Letter, H. M. Burlage, Professor of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, 17 Oct. 1942. (3) Postal card, Pat O'Malley (no address given) to General McAfee (SGO), 30 Nov. 1942.


18

FIGURE 1.-Maj. Gen. James C. Magee, USA, The Surgeon General, 1 June 1939-31 May 1943.

he replied that if any specific instances warranting such charges were brought to his attention, he would request an investigation.27

Despite the Surgeon General's opposition, Congress passed a law, approved by President Roosevelt on 12 July 1943, which established a Pharmacy Corps in the Regular Army to comprise 72 officers in grades from second lieutenant through colonel. Officers in the Regular Army Medical Administrative Corps, pharmacist and nonpharmacist alike (there were 58) were to be transferred to the new corps and carried there in addition to the 72 authorized.28 The effect was to abolish the Regular Army Medical Administrative Corps. Unlike the law giving military status to the dietitians and physical therapists, this law made no mention of a director for the new corps and The Surgeon General did not name one. The strength authorized for the corps permitted only a few of the pharmacists then in the Army to have commissioned status.

27(1) Letter, Maj. Gen. James C. Magee, to L. E. Foster, General Manager, Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham, Ala., 6 Nov. 1942. (2) Letter, Assistant to The Surgeon General (Brig. Gen. Larry B. McAfee), to L. E. Foster, General Manager, Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham, Ala., 11 Nov. 1942. (3) Letter, Assistant to The Surgeon General (Brig. Gen. Larry B. McAfee), to Dr. H. M. Burlage, Professor of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, 5 Nov. 1942.
28(1) 57 Stat. 430. (2) Regular Army Strength Book, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army.


19

CIVILIAN COMPONENTS

Civilians served in many types of Medical Departments installations. In the Zone of Interior, the majority were employed in hospitals and medical supply depots but they were also employed in the Office of The Surgeon General, the offices of other command surgeons, in laboratories, and elsewhere. Oversea activities of civilian personnel, most of them nationals of the countries in which they served, were similarly widespread, extending even into the combat zones. Among the thousands who were employed in many parts of the world were to be found men and women of every degree of skill from laborers and trained artisans to technicians and even to physicians classified as specialists.

An important group of civilian workers for the Medical Department who received no Government pay were members of the American National Red Cross. The Red Cross, in addition to giving certain types of assistance to the able-bodied members of the Armed Forces, assigned many of its personnel to Army hospitals, both in the Zone of Interior and overseas. In the hospitals, Red Cross workers rendered the patient various kinds of nonmedical service, such as providing assistance in the adjustment of social, economic, and family problems that might otherwise retard recovery; obtaining social histories, including medical information, upon the request of medical officers, to be used as an aid in determining diagnosis, treatment, and disposition; making loans or grants of money for certain purposes; providing "comfort" items and services to patients unable to obtain them for themselves; and planning and directing approved recreation for patients.29 For these purposes, the Red Cross recruited both volunteer workers and paid employees, providing salaries for the latter out of its own funds.

29Army Regulations No. 850-75, 30 June 1943. It should be noted that neither the Salvation Army nor the Young Men's Christian Association, both of which had rendered valuable services in World War I, was authorized as a welfare agency in World War II.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS