education, training, and experience are not essential except when serving in an
administrative headquarters (such as HQ, HSC; HQDA; OR medical Group TOE 8-122),
serving as an administrative resident, serving in a TOE unit in training, or when
performing mainly administrative duties during regularly established hours.
3-36. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
a. Nursing has been a part of Army medicine in the US since the Continental
Army was organized. In the early years, the nursing tasks were most frequently
performed by enlisted men. However, during the Civil War, some 6,000 women were
employed for military nursing in this country.
b. The military and medical disasters of the Spanish-American War gave women
the opportunity to establish themselves as nurses in the military. Typhoid fever, which
requires skillful nursing, broke out in Army camps and quick recruitment of enlisted men
with nursing experience was practically impossible. Twelve hundred women served as
contract nurses during that period. They proved their worth in the medical care of
soldiers so impressively that in 1901 Congress established the AN as a part of the US
c. In 1918, the Army School of Nursing (which was to continue through the class
of 1933) was established to relieve the shortage of nurses caused by World War I.
Relative rank was granted the nurses in 1920 and definite rank became theirs in 1942.
The AN Corps reached its peak strength of nurses on active duty during World War II
when 57,000 AN officers served this country worldwide.
d. In 1947, when the Army and the Air Force became separate services, Army
nurses formed the nucleus of the new Air Force Nurse Corps. In 1955, the first male
nurses were commissioned as reserve officers in the AN Corps. The first Regular Army
commissions were tendered to men in the AN Corps in 1967. Today about one-fourth
of the ANs are men.
3-37. DUTIES OF AN OFFICER
In general, members of the AN Corps perform those functions or duties that are
of a professional or advisory nature or that are matters of command.
a. Professional duties are those directly related to the science of nursing as
practiced by the nursing profession. This includes the development and adoption of
nursing care principles and standards to meet the total nursing care needs of patients.
b. The primary duty of the senior AN Corps officer present for duty with a
headquarters is as a staff officer who is directly responsible and has direct access to the
staff surgeon or MEDCEN/MEDDAC commander as staff advisor on all policies,
procedures, and activities pertaining to the AN Corps.