The recently published book, “Out of the Crucible: How the U.S. Military Transformed Combat Casualty Care in Iraq and Afghanistan,” co-edited by USU leaders, says it best: “From the founding of our nation to today, Americans have benefited from advances in military medicine …

“The battlefield has long served as the classroom for medical advances. For centuries, under the pressure of delivery care in wartime, medical personnel have used their creativity and powers of observation to develop better methods to treat the ill and injured. Over time, the broader medical community adopted these techniques, to the benefit of us all.

The pace and discovery and knowledge-sharing accelerated during the American Civil War, and more recently, during the two world wars and the conflicts that followed. Today, we take many of these advances for granted: use of helicopters for aeromedical evacuation; use of morphine and other drugs to treat agonizing pain; safe approaches to cross-matching and transfusing blood and plasma; surgical techniques to treat damaged blood vessels and other forms of life-threatening trauma; and rehabilitation to help trauma victims recover from invisible as well as visible wounds.

This tradition continued in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In little more than a decade, the U.S. military transformed its approach to combat casualty care from the point of injury on the battlefield through successful reintegration of wounded warriors into their communities. In the process, the military took a combat care system that was already considered the best in the world and made it better -- much better.”

USU faculty, staff and alumni have played major roles in these more recent advances and remain on the forefront of discovery, innovation and improvement.



Surgeons Perform First Bioengineered Blood Vessel Transplant in Military Patient

An Army veteran in danger of losing his leg  has become the first patient in the Military Health System to undergo transplantation of a new type of bioengineered blood vessel thanks to surgeons from USU and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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Surgical Critical Care Initiative (SC2i) develops Mobile App to Predict Massive Transfusion Need

SC2i's mobile app allows for the accurate prediction of massive transfusion based on a sophisticated statistical model created using admission variables readily available to the clinician at the bedside.

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USU Scientist to Lead National Gonorrhea Vaccine Cooperative Research Center

Researchers at Uniformed Services University (USU) were recently awarded part of a $10.7 million grant to develop a vaccine against gonorrhea in the next five years.

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F. Edward Hébert


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 Established by Congress- 1972



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



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.

USU Administrative Offices 1975


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.

Students and faculty in classroom at the Armed Forces Forces Institute of Pathology


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.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) construction progress, nearing completion, March 1979. The National Naval Medical  Center is seen in the background.


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.

Students participating in field exercise


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.”

Class photo of first graduating class


First Cohort Graduates from the Medical School

32 students made up the first graduating class.

Henry M. Jackson


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.

CSTS logo


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.

GSN logo


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


Building E is Completed

The university’s newest building houses the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing.

PDC logo


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.

EMDP2 first students and Althea Green Dixon, director of Recruitment and Outreach for the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine


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.

CAHS logo


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.

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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.