U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
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The Army Medical Department Civilian Corps:
A Legacy of Distinguished Service, Page 7

The Army Medical Department Civilian Corps: A Legacy of Distinguished Service

The Army Medical Department Civilian Corps: A Legacy of Distinguished Service, page 6

In 1981 the Army Chief of Staff approved a concept for a revised US Army Regimental System “to provide each soldier with continuous identification with a single Regiment.”14 By 1986 the regimental system had expanded beyond combat regiment affiliation to encompass the entire Army, with the intent of emphasizing “the history, customs, and traditions of the Regiment/Corps.”15 The Army Medical Department Regiment was activated on 28 July 1986, and henceforth every officer and enlisted Soldier who graduated from an AMEDD Branch or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) producing school was affiliated with the Regiment. The regimental system was updated in 1990, incorporating a new stated purpose of developing loyalty, commitment, a sense of belonging, and esprit. More significantly, the 1990 revision authorized DA civilians to be affiliated with a regiment by direction of the regiment or corps commander. This marked an important milestone for Army civilians, not only by embracing them as valued members of the service but also by encouraging career specialization within a functional area of the Army. Apparently the value of this authorization was initially overlooked, because it would be another 21 years before the AMEDD would include civilians in the Regiment. The road to that recognition would involve several defining events in the AMEDD civilian identity.

In 1993 the AMEDD, recognizing the efficiencies gained with the HSC implementation and acting on lessons learned in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, undertook another major reorganization. Health Services Command was re-designated as US Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), which stood up as a provisional command in 1993 and became fully operational in 1994. HSC, commanded by a major general, was limited in its scope to CONUS. MEDCOM would be commanded by the Army Surgeon General, and would have responsibility for medical facilities around the world. Regional Medical Commands helped manage this vast responsibility by providing a subordinate layer of command and control, and specialty functions like dental and veterinary care established their own sub-commands under MEDCOM. The transformation to MEDCOM raised personnel numbers exponentially, since the new command encompassed personnel in Europe, Asia, Central America, and the Pacific in addition to CONUS. The task of managing this workforce was immense. Functional corps chiefs for each corps of the AMEDD worked with personnel proponents to provide lifecycle management of military personnel, but no such system existed for civilian personnel management.

The Department of the Army implemented a civilian personnel proponency plan in 1991, with the Surgeon General designated as the civilian personnel proponent for health care occupations. The Surgeon General, in turn, relied on the HSC Civilian Personnel Director to oversee lifecycle management of AMEDD civilians. As early as 1988 the term “civilian corps chief” was used informally within the Medical Department to refer to the HSC Civilian Personnel Director, but the title was merely colloquial and never documented in written orders.

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14 US Army, Army Regulation 600-82: The U.S. Army Regimental System (Washington: Dept of the Army, 1 May 1986), p. 3.
15 Ibid., p. 4.