The Army has a new name for the training center that is the starting point for all soldiers going into Army medicine.
The Army’s Medical Department Center and School is now called the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence.
The medical training and education center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas was officially renamed on Sunday, the Army announced.
The new name reflects a reorganization that is shifting the center to align with Army Training and Doctrine Command.
What will be immediately obvious to soldiers is a lighter-weight acronym: “AMEDDC&S HRCoE” is now reduced to “MEDCoE.”
That bulkier acronym stood for Army Medical Department Center and School, Health Readiness Center of Excellence, which had been in use since 2015.
One year ago, the center began transitioning from Army Medical Command to TRADOC. That change is expected to be complete by Oct. 2.
The new, shorter acronym reflects a massive mission, said the two-star commander who has served in MEDCOM at least five times during his 34-year Army career, according to the Army’s release.
“The breadth and depth of our reach is staggering; this is the entry point for all members of the Army’s Medical Department,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick D. Sargent, commander of MEDCoE, at the renaming ceremony.
He said the reorganization supports the Army’s modernization efforts and will allow the organization to adapt and innovate “at the speed of modern, or future, warfare.”
Adaptive training will affect how Army medicine can respond to near-peer and peer adversaries in multi-domain operations, he said.
“That’s what this redesignation is all about,” Sargent said in the announcement. “Defining a successful path to the future so our soldiers can complete their mission and come home.”
About the Medical Center of Excellence
The CoE has two medical brigades, a noncommissioned officer academy and dozens of staff directorates including the new Fielded Force Integration Directorate.
MEDCoE will create a directorate of training and doctrine, similar to that of other TRADOC centers of excellence.
Nearly 30,000 soldiers are trained each year to go into one of the Army’s medical roles, which include combat medics, doctors, surgeons, nurses, veterinarians, dentists and physician assistants, aeromedical evacuation pilots, food inspectors, medical technicians and hospital administrators.
MEDCoE is the Defense Department’s largest civilian-accredited service school, according to the release.
Army medicine has made recent advances in controlling bleeding, burn care, amputee care, HIV and Zika vaccinations, brain injury evaluation and treatments, and regenerative medicine, the release said.
Kathleen Curthoys is editor of Army Times. She has been an editor at Military Times for 20 years, covering issues that affect service members. She previously worked as an editor and staff writer at newspapers in Columbus, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Bloomington, Indiana; Monterey, California and in Germany.