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Medical Service Corps 70th Anniversary

Medical Service Corps 70th Anniversary

The Navy Medical Service Corps was created on 4 August 1947 by an act of the United States Congress. Originally it had four specialist sections: Supply and Administration, Optometry, Allied Sciences, and Pharmacy. Currently, the Navy Medical Service Corps has three sections: Healthcare Administration, Healthcare Sciences, and Clinical Care Providers.

  • Healthcare Administrators comprise approximately 40% of the MSC
  • Healthcare Sciences are subdivided into the following fields of specialty:
    • Aerospace Experimental Psychology
    • Aerospace Physiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Entomology
    • Environmental Health
    • Industrial Hygiene
    • Medical Technology
    • Microbiology
    • Research Physiology
    • Radiation Health
    • Research Psychology
  • Clinical Care Providers are subdivided into the following fields of specialty:
    • Audiology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Dietitian/Food Management
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Optometry
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Physician Assistant
    • Podiatry
    • Social Work

The Medical Service Corps is the most diverse Corps in the Navy with over 2,700 highly trained and specialized officers serving in 31 subspecialties.


navy medical service corps seal


Following is a reprinted message from the Medical Service Corps Chief, Rear Admiral Anne Swap.

Happy 70th Birthday fellow Medical Service Corps Officers!

I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a happy birthday and to thank you for your outstanding contributions to Navy Medicine.

In September of 1945, a prospectus was written by LT M.C. Shelesnyak expressing the need for a Medical Scientist Corps within the structure of the Navy for the express purpose of conducting research; as changes were inherent. Thomas Jefferson once said that "laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As the mind becomes more developed, more enlightened, and as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times". As it goes, Navy Medicine was advancing to keep up with the innovations of the times and the Medical Scientist Corps quickly evolved into the Medical Service Corps which included scientists, administrators, and clinicians.

The advancement of our Corps is continuous and progressive, to keep pace with the changing world around us. The prospectus also included information about our Corps device, affectionately known as "the Twig". It stated that "the Corps device shall be distinctive and worn by all personnel of the Corps. It shall consist of a modification of the oak leaf and acorn of the Medical Corps. The modification shall be a small gold bar, attached to the base of the oak leaf, centered at right angles to the stem".


navy medical service corps insignia


As our Medical Service Corps develops with the tides of change, our device and the values of our officers do not. We continue to hold true to our tenets of excellence, integrity, and heritage. As a final note, I encourage each of you to participate in your local MSC birthday festivities. We are a great organization; stronger now than ever before. It is necessary that we take time to reflect on the history of who we are and where we've been.

On August 4, 2017 we celebrate our 70th birthday. As we move towards the future, we will honor our heritage, commit to excellence, and lead with integrity as we sail beyond the shore to new horizons!

RDML Anne Swap


RDML Swap, A. (2017, June 01). From the MSC Director. The Rudder, 5.6, 1.

Navy Medical Service Corps. (2017, June 16). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from




Ari Doucette

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