By Patricia Deal
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center public affairs
Army Nurses at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center celebrated the 111th anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps at a cake cutting ceremony earlier this month.
Nurses also featured a 'walking history' of the Army Nurse Corps, and modeled special uniforms preserved by the Army Nurse Corps Museum during the Feb. 2 celebration.
This year's theme "Embrace the past; engage the present; envision the future," is especially fitting today, Col. Risa Bator, deputy commander for nursing and patient services, told attendees.
"There's not a nurse who wore the uniform of their era who did not feel pride for serving and wearing the cloth of our nation. We should also be proud of the uniform we wear today and honor the service of those who went before us," she said. "It is a momentous time for nurses today. We now have a Nurse Corps officer as our surgeon general. There's only good things ahead for us as we head into the future knowing we are 'serving to heal, honored to serve.'"
Army nurses have been serving since 1775; however, the Nurse Corps did not become part of the Army Medical Department until 1901 when the Army Reorganization Act was passed and became law.
The corps grew substantially during World Wars I and II, reaching 57,000 active duty Army nurses by 1945. The corps has been and continues to be in every major conflict that the United States has taken part in. Today nearly 40,000 active duty, reserve and National Guard officers, noncommissioned officers, and civilians represent Army nursing, according to the site.
About 300 active-duty and reserve Army nurses serve at Darnall.
For more information on the history of the Army Nurse Corps, go to www.history.amedd.army.mil/ANCWebsite/anchome.html.