Quadrangle clock tower, built in 1876, at Fort Sam Houston

Fort Sam Houston / Joint Base San Antonio

Anyone interested in becoming a military medic will likely become acquainted with this US Army post in San Antonio, Texas. An Army medical training center since World War II, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) of 2005 makes Fort Sam the single consolidated military medical training facility for all US armed services. The US Navy and US Air Force are closing all medical training facilities at their military bases and relocating personnel to Fort Sam Houston in 2011.

Named for Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas, the base’s first structures were built in 1876. The fort is on both the US National Register of Historic Places and the US National Historic Landmark District. The base now includes more than 900 buildings and is one of the oldest military installations of the US Army. One of the more historically interesting things about Fort Sam is that it is a ‘living’ monument to military architectural style and construction techniques as they’ve evolved over the last two centuries. Preservation of these landmarks is a priority.

Fort Sam Houston is said to be the world’s largest and most prestigious military medical training center today. Since the army elected Fort Sam as its primary medical center after World War II, it’s been called the Home of Army Medicine and the Home of the Combat Medic. The world-renowned Brooke Army Medical Center is a part of Fort Sam Houston.

Before its 2011 consolidation with other military branches, the US Army trained no fewer than 25,000 students each year. These students had 170 courses to choose from in the enlisted, non-commissioned officer, and officer training levels. These courses represented 14 medical specialties.

Military personnel stationed at Fort Sam can earn bachelor and master’s degrees from Baylor University, the University of Texas Health Science Centers, and the University of Nebraska. In addition, students at Fort Sam can study at the Headquarters for Dental Command, the Headquarters Veterinary Command, the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, and the Institute for Surgical Research.

With so many learning opportunities awaiting the military medic of the future, it’s no wonder Fort Sam is also referred to as the brain trust for military medicine.

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