Early Graduation Puts 200 More Officers Into the Fight Against COVID-19

Early Graduation Puts 200 More Officers Into the Fight Against COVID-19
More than 200 officers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences will graduate early, including more than 150 medical students from the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine. (Photo by Sharon Holland/USU)

More than 200 officers will join the fight against COVID-19 with freshly minted diplomas from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences after USU officials announced they would graduate early.


The students – all active duty officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps – include doctors and nurses with an array of specialties. They’ve all completed their necessary degree requirements, and they’ll all be eligible for new assignments in their respective services, per a USU blog post.


“MOAA salutes these officers who are answering the nation’s call,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO. “As you stand ready to support the brave and rapid response of our uniformed services to this pandemic, MOAA stands ready to support you and your family throughout the many stages of your young career.”


[NEWS AND RESOURCES: MOAA.org/Coronavirus]


USU, founded in 1972, includes four schools and 15 research centers. Nearly 1,300 students attended in the 2018-2019 school year, per the USU website, receiving junior officer status and schooling in exchange for a seven-year service commitment.


“Our students are uniquely prepared to meet and address the readiness needs of the Department of Defense and our Nation the moment they step out of our doors,” said USU President Dr. Richard Thomas, a retired Army major general and former head of the Army Medical Corps. “This is exactly what they were educated and trained to do.”


Other medical schools across the nation are considering early graduations to help with expected medical staffing needs. New York University has offered early graduation to students who’d completed their requirements and volunteered to intern at the school’s hospital in the internal medicine or emergency departments.


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MOAA provides resources for officers and their families throughout all stages of their careers, including after they’ve taken off the uniform. Learn more about the benefits of membership.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley