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MEDICAL CORPS

Branch Insignia: A gold color medal caduceus, one inch in height. With the exception of the Medical Corps, each Corps is identified by black enamel letters centered on the caduceus indicative of their Corps. The insignia for Medical Service Corps is silver.

In 1851, "a caduceus embroidered in yellow silk on a half chevron of emerald green silk" was worn by hospital stewards of the Medical Department. The caduceus, in its present form, was approved in 1902. Rooted in mythology, the caduceus, historically an emblem of physicians, symbolizes knowledge, wisdom, promptness and various aspects of medical skill.

Branch Plaque: The plaque design has the branch insignia, letters and rim in gold, except the Medical Service Corps is silver. The background is maroon.
Regimental Insignia: A silver color metal and enamel device one inch in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned as follows: Per pale: to dexter, paly of thirteen Gules and Argent, on a chief Azure 20 mullets in four rows of five each of the Second; to sinister, Argent, a staff entwined with a serpent Vert; attached below the shield a blue scroll inscribed "TO CONSERVE FIGHTING STRENGTH" in silver. The insignia was originally approved on 17 April 1986, but the size was changed from 1 1/4 inch to 1 inch on 28 August 1986.


Regimental Coat of Arms: The coat of arms is displayed on the breast of a displayed eagle on the regimental flag. The coat of arms is: Per pale: to dexter, paly of thirteen Gules and Argent, on a chief Azure twenty mullets in four rows of five each of the second; to sinister, Argent, a staff entwined with a serpent Vert. The crest (On a wreath of the colors Argent and Gules, a cross below an arc of seven mullets all within a wreath of laurel, all Argent) is displayed above the eagle's head. The background color of the flag is maroon and the fringe is white. The coat of arms was approved on 17 April 1986.


Symbolism of Regimental Insignia: The design of the shield is based on the shield of a historical heraldic device probably first used in 1818 by the Army Medical Department. The white stars on a blue background and the red and white stripes represent the United States flag of 1818. The green staff entwined with the serpent, originating in mythology, is symbolic of medicine and healing. Green was the color associated with the Corps during the last half of the nineteenth century. Symbology of the crest of the coat of arms: The colors argent and gules are those associated with the Army Medical Department. The cross and the wreath are adapted from devices authorized for hospital stewards and other enlisted men when the Hospital Corps was established in 1887. The seven stars emphasize the elements of the organization: Medical Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, Army Specialist Corps, and the enlisted medical specialist. The motto, "TO CONSERVE FIGHTING STRENGTH," reflects the medical mission.

Branch Colors: Maroon piped with white.

Maroon - 65017 cloth; 67114 yarn; PMS 504.

Green was prescribed as the first Medical Department color in 1847 when the sash for Medical Officers was described. The green was established in the insignia of the Hospital Stewards uniform on 31 October 1851 and in 1857 the green was piped with yellow and the pompon was topped with medium or emerald green. Later the pompon was green piped with white until 1902 when the maroon color was adopted. In 1903, the Hospital Corps chevrons were maroon piped with white. Maroon and white were established for all branches of the Medical Department by the uniform specifications dated October 1916.

Birthday: 27 July 1775. Army Medical Department and the Medical Corps trace their origins to 27 July 1775, when the Continental Congress established the Army hospital headed by a "Director General and Chief Physician." Congress provided a medical organization of the Army only in time of war or emergency until 1818, which marked the inception of a permanent and continuous Medical Department. The Army Nurse Corps dates from 1901, the Dental Corps from 1911, the Veterinary Corps from 1916, the Medical Service Corps from 1917, and the Army Medical Specialist Corps from 1947. The Army Organization Act of 1950 renamed the Medical Department as the Army Medical Service. On 4 June 1968, the Army Medical Service was redesignated the Army Medical Department.

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