FORT BELVOIR, Va. and BETHESDA, Md. -- Hundreds of servicemembers at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center celebrated their unique service cultures and bond as the only joint military medical facilities in the U.S. during a summer formation and uniform transition ceremony, May 9.
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center stand together for the early morning uniform inspection held simultaneously at both Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Va. and Walter Reed Bethesda, May 9.
A naval tradition since 1817, the formation ceremony signifies the change from fall/winter to spring/summer attire. In a show of solidarity and camaraderie, the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force participated in the event as the nation’s only joint military medical facilities. The formation reinforces the strength of the joint organizations, according to Belvoir hospital leadership. Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have a single, shared common purpose: “Pro cura militis,” the care of the warrior.
The hospitals have become the symbols of health and healing in the National Capital Region and within military medicine. As part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation which mandated the joint facilities, Walter Reed and Belvoir hospital opened a new chapter in military medicine and the future of joint military health care.
“This purpose, coupled with the range of different strengths from each military branch culture, results in an unparalleled combination that will benefit our patients in ways we cannot yet imagine,” said Col. Charles Callahan, commander of the Belvoir hospital. “We learn as we work together that the things our military branches share are far greater than those not shared. What is different about us, in fact, makes us stronger.”
Navy Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks, commander at Walter Reed, also highlighted the benefits of leading one of two joint medical facilities in the nation.
“Teamwork is what it’s all about to get the mission done,” Stocks said. “All services serve proudly at Walter Reed Bethesda.”
In addition to the hundreds of servicemembers who participated, the hospitals’ Department of Defense civilian employees collaborated and supported in the consolidated, integrated and joint formation as well.
DoD civilians working side-by-side with servicemembers represent the future of military medicine and continue to epitomize dedication, commitment and professionalism, said Navy Capt. Sterling Sherman, Belvoir hospital chief of staff.
“The pride we take in strengthening our culture is reflective in everything we do: from the crease in our shirts and the shine on our shoes, to the way we care for our patients and all of those entrusted to our care,” Sherman said. “Although the colors of our uniforms may be different, we are one team dedicated to providing world-class care to our nation’s servicemembers, Families, and retirees.”
Belvoir hospital and Walter Reed serve more than 120,000 beneficiaries in the National Capital Region in addition to global medical support of each military branch. These joint medical hospitals are part of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical’s Integrated Delivery System.
Kristin Ellis and Sharon Renee Taylor/Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center public affairs offices