Retired Army Members From Medical Fields Again On Front Lines

By Faye Higbee

On Thursday, the US Army asked retired Army members in 8 medical fields to come back into the fight against COVID-19, as we previously reported. By Friday, the number responding was up to 14,000. They were specifically looking for personnel from these fields: critical care officer; anesthesiologist; nurse anesthetist; critical care nurse; nurse practitioner; ER nurse; respiratory specialist; and medic.

This was prior to the Trump administration’s authorization for the Pentagon to call up reservists on Friday. The US Army asked, and the response was termed as “overwhelming.”

The government is also planning to make available 200 military medical students and graduate school nurses from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, according to ABC.

“The group, who are all active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Public Health Service, will have completed all of their requirements and graduate early to backfill their colleagues who are responding to the coronavirus.

Our curriculum has a specific focus on threats like emerging infectious diseases and disasters that our military and Public Health Service forces are likely to encounter in the course of their careers,” said university president Dr. Richard Thomas. “This instruction is based on real-life lessons learned, is woven throughout the curriculum and incorporated into our medical field exercises.” 

The US Navy already has personnel deployed to the two hospital ships on opposite ends of the country, many of whom are reservists.

Medical personnel from the Army’s 531st Hospital Center out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky and the 9th Hospital Center out of Fort Hood were set to deploy to the Javits Center in NYC with 650 personnel, to be ready by Monday, March 30. Other field hospitals are set for Seattle, etc.

Voluntary recall requests to retired Army members are rare. But the average recall is 365 days, or up to 730 by agreement with the individual soldier, so there is a procedure. Personnel cannot be promoted during a voluntary recall. (

“Those soldiers that are assigned to medical treatment facilities, what we call military medically assigned personnel, their primary mission is to support the force. When they are called upon to deploy — in this case here, to support the whole-of-government, our nation, those medical providers, we look at cross-leveling within the medical command. And then the volunteers that you’re talking about is where we also will leverage, in addition to the Army reserves, to fill those holes from the medical treatment facilities so that we can maintain the readiness of our soldiers as well as to the beneficiary population.” Lt. Gen. Raymond Scott Dingle, the surgeon general of the Army

The retired Army members once again are ready to be sent to  the front lines, this time in a different kind of war. But it definitely shows their dedication, their commitment to the nation… we can be proud that so many want to help!

Featured photo: US Department of Defense (file)


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