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Soldiers Magazine

Battle dress through the centuries

Program offers enlisted Soldiers the opportunity to become doctors

Story by Elizabeth M. Collins, Soldiers, Defense Media Activity

For years, they had dreamed of becoming a doctor, a physician or a surgeon, but life had different plans. For a variety of reasons, they wound up enlisting in the military, some as medics, some in non-medical fields, some even made it to special operations. Their careers progressed and they received promotions and awards. That first dream became something to be pursued someday, in another life, after the military.

In the Army, doctors and senior noncommissioned officers also spent years losing their most talented Soldiers to that dream, wishing they could offer them more opportunities while on active duty. The other services agreed, and officials went back and forth, discussing a program that would keep enlisted service members in the military and get them into medical school.

Read more | Soldier's Magazine

Featured News

Under Secretary of the Army Participates in Worldwide IMCOM Town Hall

By Jade Fulce, IMCOM Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command hosted a worldwide town hall with the Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy via teleconference June 28.

More than 70 garrisons connected to the town hall and employees were able to stream it live online.

In his opening remarks, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the IMCOM commanding general, said he asked Murphy to speak directly to the 58,000 civilians in the IMCOM workforce about transformations in the Army during an office call about a month ago.

“It was great for me to hear it,” said Dahl, “But you really need to hear it and you need to hear it from your senior civilian leadership,” he told the worldwide audience.

Wherever possible, IMCOM leaders invited Soldiers and civilians to gather in theaters and conference rooms to participate. Where that wasn’t available, a live stream was provided so employees could watch from their desks.

“I want to talk to the Army team,” said Murphy. “The Army team is 1.3 million strong, with 1 million Soldiers and 300,000 civilians. We are one team, one fight... My job is to fight for the Army.”

Murphy emphasized the Army’s number one priority is readiness, which meant being ready to fight tonight.

“We have to be ready to go,” he said. “That readiness is at an individual level, installation level and Army as an institution. We are all part of that readiness.”

Murphy also said the Army has to do more with less. The Army has $100 billion less than it did five years ago, so every dollar counts. He stressed everyone has to make sure we are not wasting that money.

Murphy also said that IMCOM is a true partner in what the Army is trying to do and appreciates what we do for the Army team.

Employees had an opportunity to ask questions and learn what the Army leadership is planning for the Army’s future following his comments. The questions ranged from transformation, Soldier for Life and public/private partnerships to telling the Army’s story.

He encouraged everyone to follow him on social media and to connect with the American public through it.

“We have to do a better job of telling the Army story,” said Murphy. “Every single one of us are a recruiting officer. We should be asking ourselves what we are doing to talk about the Army to our sons and daughters — our nieces and nephews.”

The town hall ended with Murphy thanking the workforce for everything that they do.

IMCOM employee Alfreda Arnold thought that it was “a wonderful thing” that Murphy was able to take time out of his schedule and bring some light to the issues that are going on with the Army.

Melissa Sturgeon, the IMCOM deputy director for operations, said it was great seeing and hearing Murphy on the teleconference because it demonstrated his passion for the Army.

“It is nice to see that level of enthusiasm and that energy applied to leading the Army,” said Sturgeon. “That make us more excited to do our job and it was obvious that he values our command.”

Total Army Strong

Total Army Strong
What is it?

Total Army Strong succeeds the Army Family Covenant, and provides a broader, tailorable platform from which commanders can deliver essential programs to support a ready Army. Commanders will have flexibility to prioritize and adjust installation programs and services regardless of geographic location or component. Total Army Strong continues and underscores the U.S. Army's commitment and responsibility to the total Army family -- Soldiers, family members and civilians.

Why is this important to the Army?

Total Army Strong reaffirms the Army's commitment to the total Army family, builds trust and faith between the Army and its most precious resource, the people, and sets the foundation for a balanced system of programs and services. These programs and services will meet the unique demands of military life, foster life skills, strengthen and sustain physical and mental fitness and resilience, and promote a strong, ready, and resilient Army.

What has the Army done?

Under the Army Family Covenant, the Army doubled its investment in base funding for Soldier and family programs from fiscal year 2007 to 2010. This investment funded Survivor Outreach Services, new child development centers, youth centers, and Soldier and Family Assistant Centers for Wounded Warriors. It also improved Army housing and increased accessibility to health care. These enhancements built a better environment for Soldiers, family members and civilians to thrive.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Total Army Strong marks the evolution of the Army Family Covenant. As the nation and the Army prepare for the future, the needs of Soldiers and families also will evolve. The Army will find a new balance to support the premier, all-volunteer Army through responsible stewardship, program assessment and the promotion of self reliance. Decisions to adjust programs will be made strategically, but will be executed locally at the installation level. This will ensure a sustainable balance of services to promote long-term Soldier and family readiness. The Army will continue to refine programs to ensure they efficiently serve the most critical needs of the Soldiers, family members and civilians. The Army will keep the force healthy, self-reliant, ready and resilient.

MG Barbara Holcomb

Major General Barbara Holcomb


Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland

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Fort Detrick Mission

The US Army Garrison, Fort Detrick, provides sustainable base operations support, quality of life programs, and environmental stewardship to facilitate the sustainment of vital national interests.

The US Army Garrison, Fort Detrick, supports five cabinet-level agencies: The Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services.

Within the DoD, Fort Detrick supports elements of all four military services. Major Department of the Army mission partners include the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the 21st Signal Brigade.

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