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Air Force Medical Service celebrates 67th birthday

  • Published
  • By J.D. Levite
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
The Air Force Medical Service will celebrate its 67th anniversary on July 1, after being established in 1949.

In September 1947, the combat elements of the Army Air Forces separated from the United States Army, forming the U.S. Air Force. A few Air Force support functions, such as medical care, remained responsibilities of the Army for the next two years. 

Starting in 1948, the Air Surgeon, Maj. Gen. Malcolm C. Grow, began to convince the Army and the administration of President Harry Truman that the Air Force needed its own medical service. 

In the summer of 1949, Air Force General Order No. 35 established a medical service with the following officer personnel components: Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Women’s Medical Specialist Corps.

The order stated, “The above listed corps shall consist of those personnel transferred from corresponding corps of the Department of the Army, and personnel subsequently commissioned in the respective corps of the Medical Service, United States Air Force. Personnel appointed in the above corps will be carried on separate promotion lists.” Each officer corps also received a contingent of enlisted medics. The effective date of the creation of the AFMS was July 1, 1949.

Today, the AFMS consists of more than 44,000 healthcare professionals that deliver “Trusted Care, Anywhere” to more than 2.2 million Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and their families.

Air Force Medicine Celebrates its 67th Birthday!

USAF. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)