SAN DIEGO - Sailors from amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) gathered in the ship's medical triage to celebrate the 114th Hospital Corpsman birthday.
San Diego Training Support Center Command Master Chief (FMF/SW) Kelvin E. Carter was the guest speaker for the event and shared the history of the Hospital Corpsman rate during his speech.
"Prior to the establishment of the Hospital Corps, enlisted medical support in the Navy was limited in scope," he said. "Still, there existed pressure to reform the enlisted component of the Navy's medical department. Medicine as a science was advancing rapidly, foreign navies had begun training medically skilled Sailors, and even the U.S. Army had established an enlisted Hospital Corps in 1887. Navy Surgeon General J.R. Tyron and subordinate physicians lobbied the Navy administration to take action. With the Spanish-American War looming, Congress passed a bill authorizing establishment of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, signed into law by President William McKinley June 17, 1898," said Carter.
"Today, hospital corpsmen are serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars providing corpsmen for convoys, patrols, and hospital or clinic treatment," he said.
During the celebration, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Joy Dedious led the medical department with reciting the Corpsman creed.
Following the formal ceremony, a cake-cutting was held which included Carter with the youngest and oldest Hospital Corpsman from the Boxer medical staff.
For Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Lakesha Aldaco this celebration honors the Corpsmen who made the rate what it is today.
"This is a way to pay our homage to those who sacrificed so much to save others," said Aldaco. "It's important to reflect on where we started and learn how we got here today."
Boxer Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin Flanagan thanked the medical department for its hard work and dedication.
"All of you do a tremendous job of taking care of our Marines and Sailors. I am proud to serve with each and every one of you," said Flanagan. "From the day I met this department, I've never seen a more productive group of Sailors. Congratulations and happy birthday."