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Army gauging interest of retired medical staff being recalled amid coronavirus pandemic

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FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2020, file photo, U.S. Army soldiers from the 82nd Airborne board a C-17 aircraft at Fort Bragg, N.C., to be deployed to the Middle East. A push led by pro-Iran factions to oust U.S. troops from Iraq is gaining momentum, bolstered by a Parliament vote in favor of a bill calling on the the government to remove them. But the path forward is unclear. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File)

The Army is finding out if there is interest from retired doctors, nurses, and medics to be recalled to military service to assist with handling the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington Post reported that an Army general said in a message to eligible veterans that the Army is turning to “trusted professionals capable of operating under constantly changing conditions." The publication cited the communication from Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, who said:

When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again.

Widespread concern that the nation’s public health system could be overwhelmed from coronavirus patients influenced the Army's announcement Tuesday that it will dispatch hospital units to cities that are hardest hit by the virus. Soldiers from Fort Campbell, Ky. Fort Carson, Colo. and Fort Hood, Texas are headed to New York and Washington state to provide support.

That announcement said in part:

Moving on the orders of Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, the Army recently issued deployment orders to the 531st Hospital from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the 627th Hospital from Fort Carson, Colorado, and the 9th Hospital from Fort Hood, Texas, to deploy to New York and Washington state.

The message states that the Army is interested in people who served in eight jobs:

  • Critical care officer,
  • Anesthesiologist,
  • Nurse anesthetist,
  • Critical care nurse,
  • Nurse practitioner,
  • Emergency-room nurse,
  • Respiratory specialist,
  • Medic.

“If you are working in a civilian hospital or medical facility, please let us know,” Seamands wrote, as cited by the Post. “We do not want to detract from the current care and treatment you are providing to the Nation.”

A copy of the communication to retired Army medical personnel was shared with 2News. It states:

Subject: Army Announces Voluntary Recall of Retired Soldiers for COVID-19 Response (UNCLASSIFIED)
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
Army Announces Voluntary Recall of Retired Soldiers for COVID-19 Response
The U.S. Army is reaching out to gauge the interest of our retired officers, noncommissioned officers and Soldiers who would be willing to assist with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic response effort should their skills and expertise be required.
These extraordinary challenges require equally extraordinary solutions and that's why we're turning to you -- trusted professionals capable of operating under constantly changing conditions. When the Nation called -- you answered, and now, that call may come again.
If interested and you remain qualified to serve in any of the following health care specialties: 60F: Critical Care Officer; 60N: Anesthesiologist; 66F: Nurse Anesthetist; 66S: Critical Care Nurse; 66P: Nurse Practitioner; 66T: ER Nurse; 68V: Respiratory Specialist; 68W: Medic - we need to hear from you STAT!
If you are working in a civilian hospital or medical facility, please let us know. We do not want to detract from the current care and treatment you are providing to the Nation.
While this is targeted at medical specialties, if you are interested in re-joining the team and were in a different specialty, let us know your interest.
If interested please contact Human Resources Command, Reserve Personnel Management Directorate, at (email redacted) and provide your phone number, address, email, and MOS/Branch.
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Click here to read the Army's entire announcement.

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