UTILIZATION OF MEDICAL CORPS OFFICERS
A MC officer's duty time should be devoted (to the maximum extent possible) to
actions and procedures for which he has been specially trained with a minimum of time
given to those duties that can be adequately performed under his direction by other
AMEDD personnel. He should not be detailed as a member of courts-martial or
nonprofessional boards or committees or be assigned to other duties in which medical
training is not essential unless regulations specifically stipulate his detail to such
positions. Similarly, every effort consistent with due process of law is made to use
reports, depositions, or affidavits submitted by the MC officer as testimony in preference
to requiring his presence as a witness.
For many of its nearly 200 years, US Army health services were almost
completely in the hands of the officers of the MC. Their only assistants were those
persons detailed from line organizations and from the few civilians that the medical
officers were permitted to hire or place under contract. Today, the MC has skilled help
from members of other AMEDD Corps, from trained Warrant Officers and enlisted
personnel, and from civilian employees. All of these people bring their own special
skills to Army health services. The medical officer is still the motivating force of the
department. It could not be otherwise, for he has the ultimate responsibility of the
health of the Army as a whole and for the individuals who compose the Army. He has
been given this responsibility because of his medical knowledge, his explicit training in
diagnosis and treatment, and broad experience.
a. Medical Corps Officers may exercise command only within the AMEDD.
Units normally commanded by a MC Officer are commanded by the senior MC Officer
qualified to assume command.
Note: Exception is when units normally commanded by a MC Officer are in a training
status. They may be commanded by the senior AMEDD Officer qualified to assume
command. For example, a medical battalion is commanded by a MC Officer during
combat, but is usually commanded by a MSC Officer when in training and not involved
in direct patient care.)
b. A MC officer will command a unit normally commanded by a
MC officer even when an officer of another branch may be the senior
regularly assigned officer present.
c. When medical and non-medical TOE units are stationed at installations where
a commander of a MEDDAC is authorized and assigned, the designated commander of
the MEDDAC may retain his position with the approval of the installation commander
even if there is a senior medical officer on duty with the TOE unit.