Frequently Asked Questions
Unless otherwise noted, the contents of our website are works of the U.S. Government and its employees, or were produced under contract for the U.S. Government, and are in the public domain.
Any information (text, images, figures, etc.) obtained from our website should be appropriately cited or credited when used for publication. Information obtained from printed works should be used and cited or credited in accordance with the copyright restrictions appropriate for that piece of work.
Example Citation: ?Title of Web Page.? U.S. Army Medical Department Office of Medical History. Date of Access Example Credit: Photo from U.S. Army Medical Department Office of Medical History Website For commercial publications, publishers are required to make known in their copyright notice that the commercial publication incorporates United States Government works (17 USC 403).
U.S. Army photographs and motion pictures created prior to 1988 are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001. You maybe able to access additional information about these holdings from the National Archives and Records Administration website at www.archives.gov.
Official photographs and videos pertaining to the U.S. Army within the most recent eight-year period are in the custody of the Defense Visual Information Center, 1363 Z Street Center, March Air Force Base, CA 92518-2727.
US Army Central (ARCENT) maintains a Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) in support of all branches of the US military and its coalition partners serving in the US Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. You can access the images and videos from DVIDS at http://www.dvidshub.net. The Department of Defense maintains a digital imagery repository at http://www.defenseimagery.mil/index.html.
Our office does not maintain records on individuals. When a person leaves military service, their medical and personnel files are transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Some records, prior to 1917, are maintained at NARA?s main record center (Archives I) in downtown Washington, D.C. Records archived in 1917 and later are stored at NARA?s National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. You can start a request for records stored at one of NARA?s locations at this website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/.
Be advised, the NPRC experienced a disastrous fire in 1973 that destroyed or damaged many records. You can find out more about the fire here: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html
The Department of Defense Personnel Office and the US Army Center of Military History each maintain pages that deal with Army casualties: (Note: The links below will take you away from the Office of Medical History website)
General Casualty Statistics
World War II, Korea and Vietnam Casualties Listed by State
The US Army Center of Military History (CMH) provides organizational histories, force structure information, and information about unit lineage and honors on their website at http://www.history.army.mil/unitinfo.html.
The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center has a large collection of unit histories. Their catalog is https://arena.usahec.org/web/arena. Once a history has been identified you can contact your local library to inquire about interlibrary loan possibilities. You may also wish to investigate out-of-print bookdealers in your area if you wish to see about purchasing such items.
Operational records of United States Army organizations created prior to 1940 are in the custody of the Military Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408. Requests regarding records created during World War II and the Korean War should be addressed to the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Operational records of United States Army units that served in Southeast Asia are also in the custody of the Textual Reference Branch of the National Archives. You may be able to access additional information about these holdings from the National Archives and Records Administration website at www.archives.gov.
Information relating to operational records created since 1954 by those United States Army organizations that did not serve in Southeast Asia may be available via a Freedom of Information Act request through the US Army Records Management and Declassification Agency (RMDA). You may be able to access additional information concerning policy related to these records on the website at https://www.rmda.army.mil.
Certain Unit Rosters and Morning Reports are also in the custody of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Information about these collections can be found at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/morning-reports-and-unit-rosters.html.
Our office does not maintain unit rosters. If a unit roster exists, it is most likely located in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration. Information about accessing these rosters is available at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/morning-reports-and-unit-rosters.html.
The Army Medical Department uses both the Caduceus (Mercury`s/Hermes` Staff) and the Staff of Asclepius as symbols for the Army Medical Department (AMEDD). The Staff of Asclepius, or Aesculapius, symbolizes the medical mission of the AMEDD, and is included on the AMEDD Regimental Crest (the staff with one snake entwined around it). The Caduceus, two snakes around a winged staff, symbolizes the non-combatant role of the AMEDD. The Caduceus was first used on enlisted men`s uniforms in 1851, over a decade before the establishment of the Red Cross as a symbol of non-combatants. In 1902 the Caduceus was chosen to replace the Maltese Cross insignia on Medical Corps officers` collars. In 1907, the Army Nurse Corps - the only other officer corps in the AMEDD at that time - began wearing a Caduceus with the letters ANC superimposed over it. Since that time, all new officer corps have been represented by a Caduceus specific to their corps, worn on the collars of their officers. After the First World War, many medical professionals left the army and returned to civilian practice. When they did, they took with them the Caducei they had worn proudly as members of the Army Medical Department. Over time, the Caduceus became associated with medicine in America, even in medical practices that had no association with the Army. Originally, though, the Caduceus did not stand for medicine, but represented the non-combatant status of military medicine on the battlefield.
WACs were not part of the Army Medical Department, and we don’t have records for them. You might try inquiring through the U.S. Army Women’s Museum (http://www.awm.lee.army.mil), the U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) (http://www.history.army.mil/) , or the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) (http://dacowits.defense.gov/). The Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation (WMSA) (https://www.womensmemorial.org/) , located next to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, also maintains a substantial research collection about military women.
The Force Structure and Unit History Branch, U.S. Army Center of Military History can provide some information on an organization`s entitlement to HQDA recognized unit decorations, but the official proponent for Army awards in the Military Awards Branch, USA Human Resources Command. I understand that my unit received a decoration after I left it, how can I verify that information?
For individuals still in the Army, the Awards and Decorations Branch, US Army Human Resources Command, is the proponent. Information concerning procedures to request such information can be found on the Awards and Decorations Branch website.
For individuals no longer in the Army, requests should be directed to the National Personnel Records Center. Information concerning procedures to request such information can be found on the website at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/replace-medals.html.
The proponent for all heraldic items, flags, patches, insignia,etc., is The Institute of Heraldry, 9325 Gunston Road, Room S-112, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5579. The website for the Institute is at https://tioh.army.mil/.
The American Battle Monuments Commission is responsible for the maintenance of permanent American military burial grounds in foreign countries. You can get additional information from the Commission`s website at www.abmc.gov/.
Please send us your contact information (phone number or address) and a description of the items for donation, and we will have someone from our office contact you. We are most interested in diaries, copies of official papers that describe unit operations, photographs (with information about the subjects), and other items that help tell the story of medical units and facilities. Other items are accepted on a case-by-case after discussion with our acquisitions personnel. We may not purchase items, and all solicitations for sale will be declined without response.
As a matter of policy, unless an official announcement of known facts is issued, the AMEDD Center of History and Heritage refrains from sanctioning claims involving "firsts" or the "most" because they often are difficult to substantiate and frequently are contested by other claimants.
Our website will never be able to address every aspect of Army Medical Department History. We’re glad you’re interested, though, and if we can help point you in a direction where you can continue your research, we will. Send us an inquiry with as much information about the area of Army Medical Department history that interests you and we’ll try and point you toward the best place to start looking. Submit your inquiry through our Contacts page: Contact Us.