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Dietitians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists became a part of the medical program of the U.S. Army during World War I. They served as civilian employees not only in hospitals in the United States but also in hospitals with the American Expeditionary Forces in France and with the army of occupation in Germany after the armistice.

Among the many medical officers who were impressed with the value of the services rendered by these women during World War I was one young Regular Army medical officer who later became The Surgeon General of the Army. In this capacity, Maj. Gen. Norman T. Kirk played a vital role in the passage of legislation which gave full military status in the Army of the United States to the nurses, dietitians, and physical therapists1 and the later legislation which authorized the establishment of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps and Regular Army status for nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.  Source:

 On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Army Medical Specialist Corps, a review of the Corps history through 1992 was published.  You can view a copy of the review here:  The Army Medical Specialist Corps, 45th Commemorative (CHM Pub 85-2) (as a PDF file, 7MB).

 If you know of other historical documents about the Army Medical Specialist Corps, let us know and we can list them here.

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