MEDICAL RESERVE PROGRAM
Reserve activities were held in an uncertain balance during fiscal year 1958 between significant pressures that dictated a need for an expanded program and practical factors that imposed limitations upon such a program. Among the more important pressures were the continued uncertainties in international affairs, the recognition that atomic warfare was less and less likely to be eliminated from any future conflict, the reduction in mobilization time which could be employed in reacting to enemy aggression, and the increased responsibility of Army Medical Service Reserve units. Opposing the reactions which automatically arose from such considerations were limitations on strength, the restrictions imposed on the training and equipping of Reserve forces as a result of ever-increasing costs, and desires to remain within reasonable debt limits and a balanced budget. The advent of sputniks served to loosen many restraints, but it also served to magnify the tendency to allot an increasingly greater proportion of defense funds for machines rather than for manpower.
The units of the AMEDS Reserve components are listed in section I (USAR) and section II (NG), annex II, The Troop Program of the Army, Target Year FY-58 (Confidential). The totals of the medical units organic to the Reserve component divisions are not separately listed in the Troop Program, but units organic to other combat support units and the additional 176 AMEDS Reserve and 50 AMEDS National Guard units are in the program. Several units were recently inactivated either because they had low assigned strengths or because they were combined with other units in the same vicinity in order to strengthen them. Activations of new units were restricted throughout the fiscal year by a freeze imposed upon the Troop Program, since a revision of the latter is contemplated as a result of a study currently being made.
During the year, the Special Assistant to The Surgeon General for Reserve Forces, or his representatives, visited Reserve component units
both at home stations (31) and during their periods of annual unit training (70). They found that the effectiveness of the facilities and equipment of some units had been reduced by significant strength advances. The major problems still remaining include:
Limited training opportunities for professional personnel.
Limited training opportunities for enlisted medical specialists.
Inadequate armory storage facilities for training and Table of Organization and Table of Allowances equipment.
Shortage of Medical, Dental, Army Nurse, and Army Medical Specialist Corps personnel.
Reduced man-day training spaces resulting from lack of funds authorized to all ZI armies.
Continued lack of space vacancies in medical units to which Early Commissioning Program personnel (medical and dental students) could be assigned.
Actions and Programs
Quotas for Reserve AMEDS officers to attend professional post?graduate short courses increased from 575 in fiscal year 1957 to 765 in fiscal year 1958. These courses are listed in DA Circular 621-5
(fiscal year 1958).
The Surgeon General's teams developed for the purpose of promulgating information on handling of mass casualties continued to meet their heavy schedules throughout the world.
The program for constructing a considerable number of armories, as provided by Public Law 302, 84th Congress, approved 9 August 1955, has been slowed because of budgetary restrictions, planning policies, and sudden reversals in personnel procurement directives. Thus there was only slight improvement in storage facilities, and there was little opportunity for shipment of unit assemblies to any units. The authority for the use of FCDA (Federal Civil Defense Administration) 200-bed hospital assemblies as training adjuvants by Reserve component units has been delineated in DA Letter, AGAM-P (M) 353 (23 August 57) MEDEB, subject: FCDA 200-Bed Hospital Assembly, dated 6 September 1957. Where favorable situations existed, this has permitted more realistic training at home armories or nearby facilities.
Examination revealed a change in the personnel situation within the Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Army Nurse Corps, and Army Medical Service Corps. In spite of the freeze imposed on all units at both officer and enlisted levels during the major part of calendar year 1957 and the deterrent policies suddenly announced to all Reserve activities, the end of that year showed an increase in medical and dental officers
in the Reserve components for the first time since World War II (except for the period of the Korean War). While no gains were registered among the female officers, acquisitions were just about sufficient to compensate for attrition, and the beginning of a new era seemed to be in the offing. During fiscal year 1958, however, with ceilings and quotas maintaining constant downward pressures on totals, it was considered fortunate to be able to maintain the gains that had been recorded during the previous year.
In an effort to stimulate procurement and retention of ANC and AMSC personnel in the Reserve structure, a proposal was made to resolve the problem of the inability of higher ranking ANC and AMSC officers to obtain assignments in TOE and TD units. A change of policy was proposed whereby such officers in the Army National Guard and USAR, holding a higher grade, might be assigned to an appropriate space vacancy in a TOE or TD unit that called for one grade lower. The proposal was found legally objectionable, however, and was not approved.
Retirement point credits are being awarded to AMEDS Reserve officer personnel who attend Department of the Army approved meetings and conventions of national professional organizations. Eighteen such meetings and conventions were approved during the past year.
The program for the utilization of AMEDS Reserve officers as liaison officers at medical and dental schools has been implemented. The purpose is to aid deans of medical and dental schools, as well as The Surgeon General, in disseminating information and administering the approved AMEDS programs for medical and dental students, Army internships, and residencies. During the past fiscal year, 26 Reserve medical and dental officers who are on the faculties of medical and dental schools agreed to serve as liaison officers. Retirement point credits are awarded to these officers for the outlay of their time which is in excess of what is normally required for their civilian pursuits.
The Advisory Council to The Surgeon General on Reserve Affairs, of which Brig. Gen. Perrin H. Long, MC, USAR, is chairman, held two meetings during the year, 8-9 November 1957 and 21-22 March 1958. Two new members have been added: Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Fox, DC, USAR, and Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Bosworth, MC, USAR. A former member, Brig Gen. James B. Mason, was transferred to the Retired Reserve on 30 April 1958.
Among the matters of major importance considered by this group were: (1) Training under the Reserve Forces Act of 1955, (2) the role and responsibility of Reserve Forces of the AMEDS in any future war, (3) combined military and civil defense activities, (4) officer strengths, (5) revisions in the Reserve Officer Personnel Act under the proposed omnibus bill, and (6) proposed new Troop Program with unit modifications.
Both the Army Commandants Conference (eighth) and the Instructors Conferences continued to support The Surgeon General's desire to develop programs of advanced military medical education designed particularly for those officers not holding TOE or TD assignments and more especially for those who have completed both the basic and advanced school programs. Many obstacles have prevented the accomplishment of this plan.
The U.S. Navy sponsored a course, Medical Military Training Program for Armed Forces Medical Department Officers, at the U.S. Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., 10-21 March 1958, which was attended by 91 USAR and National Guard AMEDS Reserve officers.
The U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, sponsored two courses for sanitary engineer Reserve officers during fiscal year 1958 at the Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. The first course, Sanitary Engineering Aspects of Nuclear Energy, was held 2-15 June 1958, and the second, Advanced Training for Sanitary Engineers in Water Supply, Water Pollution, 14-28 June. Eight spaces were allotted for each course.
The Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, sponsored two courses for doctors of veterinary medicine during fiscal year 1958 at the Special Training Division of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission at Oak Ridge, Tenn. The courses, both titled 'Veterinary Radiological Health,' were conducted from 10 to 21 March and 17 to 28 March 1958. Four spaces were allotted to Army Veterinary Corps Reserve officers in the first course, and five were allotted in the second.
During fiscal year 1958, a total of 4,297 trainees underwent 6 months of active duty for training at the U.S. Army Medical Training Center, Fort Sam Houston, Tex. This represented 4.2 percent of the 102,028 trainees participating in this program, as compared to the 3.2 percent of the trainees who underwent this training in the previous year. The program provides these trainees with 8 weeks of advanced individual training in MOS 910 (medical corpsman) and with added specializa?
tion, if qualified, in MOS 911.1 (medical aidman) or, if not qualified, in basic unit training, Army Training Program 8-200. Selected medical trainees who are recommended for Service School MOS training and who are able to complete the didactic phase of such training within the 14-week period are being enrolled in appropriate Service School courses at the Army Medical Service School, Fort Sam Houston.