F. Edward Hébert served in U.S. House of Representatives for 36 years under seven presidents from 1941–1977. When he took office, the country had not yet entered World War II. He never forgot the experience of seeing the Nation go to war unprepared and having to fight for time to build up its forces. From those lessons he dedicated himself to ensuring that the country would never let its defenses slip again. As chairman of the House Armed Services Committee he led the drafting of legislation for the creation of the Uniformed Services University, which he had been advocating for many years.
USU IS ESTABLISHED BY CONGRESS
On September 21, President Nixon signed the Uniformed Services Health Professionals Revitalization Act of 1971. A component of the legislation directed the Defense Secretary to establish a Defense Department medical school.
ANTHONY R. CURRERI, M.D. BECOMES FIRST PRESIDENT OF USU
Appointed by the board of regents, It was his job to bring together a faculty, develop a curriculum and work out a plan for admission of students. He left shortly after the charter class was admitted in the fall of 1976.
Administrative Offices are Established
The school’s administrative offices are established on the third floor of a small office building in downtown Bethesda above the Peoples Drug Store and a branch of the State National Bank. The small location provides the school’s first administrative office space.
Charter Class is Formed
The charter medical school class begins courses at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C., while construction of the new campus is finished.
Campus Construction is Completed
Legislation dictated the university be located within 25 miles of the District of Columbia. Twelve potential sites were selected, ultimately settling on 100 acres at the National Naval Medical Center. Architectural plans included buildings A through D. Their designs won awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Department of Defense.
Inaugural Field Exercise
The first field scenario was based on an exercise from the Army Medical Department Basic Officers Course. The three-day event was held at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, with support from faculty and NCOs at the Academy of Health Sciences (AHS) Fort Sam Houston. The following year the exercise would be named “Operation Bushmaster.”
First Cohort Graduates from the Medical School
32 students made up the first graduating class.
Henry M. Jackson Foundation is Established
Originally named the Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, its mission is to support research and education at the university and throughout the military. It carries out these initiatives by establishing cooperative agreements, serving as an interchange between military and civilian medical personnel, and encouraging the participation of the medical sciences in its work for the benefit of military and civilian medicine alike.
The First Research Center is Established
The university is the academic hub supporting and advancing medicine and health for U.S. forces. The centers conduct research, training, and education to deliver knowledge and products on specific gaps within the Military Health System (MSH) and on behalf of the nation. The first of these centers was the Center for Disaster Medicine (later renamed the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health). It focuses on the nation's preparedness for disaster and catastrophic events as it relates to health.
The Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing is Established
The school was founded in response to the growing shortage of independent nurse practitioners, clinical specialists, and other registered nurses with advanced graduate training. The school expanded a decade later to include a Doctorate in Nursing Science.
Building E is Completed
The university’s newest building houses the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing.
Postgraduate Dental College is Established
The college arose from the services to provide a Master of Science in Oral Biology, with the degree leading to the publication of research. However, its larger aim is to improve the quality of clinicians’ practice with a sound research background, resulting in better, cost-effective treatment and innovative solutions to care. Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio in Houston, the program provides a means to share curriculum, best practices, and accreditation preparation between the services. In addition, faculty and students receive university support — including faculty appointments, faculty development training, and support services such as the Learning Resource Center.
Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program Launches
The Pre-Medical Undergraduate Certificate is a one-year undergraduate program offered to enlisted members of the U.S. military to complete undergraduate pre-medical admissions requirements at George Mason University.
College of Allied Health Sciences Is Established
The college serves as the accrediting body for the Defense Health Agency’s Tri-Service Medical Education and Training Campus, which trains the services, medics, corpsmen, and technicians. By awarding college credits to their coursework, students are more competitive for promotion and marketable in the civilian sector, with the opportunity to complete a degree awarded by USU.
15th Research Center Founded
The university establishes the Center for Health Services Research. Its mission is to lead a new approach for the Military Health System by using data to generate better evidence-based decision-making and policy. Current research areas are with the President’s Task Force on veteran suicide prevention and COVID-19.