Army Nurse Corps celebrates 119 years

The Army Nurse Corps celebrated its 119th birthday on Feb. 2.  The theme for 2020 is “Ready to Lead, Ready to Care since 1901.”  For the past 119 years, the ANC has served as a permanently integrated member of the Army Medicine team.  The vision of the ANC is “to preserve the strength of our nation by providing trusted and compassionate care to our nation’s warfighters and their families.”

In 1947, Public Law 36 of the 80th Congress established the Army Nurse Corps in the Medical Department of the regular Army.  The Army-Navy Nurse Act of 1947 also authorized the appointment of ANC officers as permanent commissioned officers in the grades of first lieutenant through lieutenant colonel.  The history of Army nursing dates back to the War of Independence and the Second Continental Congress.

Gen. George Washington appreciated that commanders frequently had to divert Soldiers from the front lines to care for wounded Soldiers.  In 1775, Congress allocated funds for medical support and established a ratio of one nurse to every 10 patients.   Since then, Army nurses have confirmed their unique value in the U.S. Army and served in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terrorism. Army nurses continue to answer the call to preserve the strength of the nation by providing trusted and highly compassionate care to the most precious members of our military family.  We will continue to promote health and readiness, form cohesive teams, enhance and expand our internal and external partnerships, and work today to develop our leaders of tomorrow.