Army asks retired health care soldiers to rejoin to deal with coronavirus response - Task & Purpose

The Army is asking retired medics and nurses to come back on active-duty for COVID-19 response

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The U.S. Army is asking retired soldiers who served in health care fields if they want to come back on active duty to help deal with the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"These extraordinary challenges require equally extraordinary solutions and that's why we're turning to you," wrote Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, deputy chief of staff for Human Resources Command, in an email sent to former service members on Wednesday.

"When the Nation called, you answered, and now, that call may come again," Seamands wrote.

The email with the subject line "Army Announces Voluntary Recall of Retired Soldiers for COVID-19 Response," asked interested soldiers to reach out to the Army if they served in a medical field and remain qualified.

Employees of Hamilton Medical AG test ventilators at a plant in Domat/Ems, Switzerland March 18, 2020.

According to the email, the service is looking for soldiers to voluntarily come back on active-duty if they were in the fields of Critical Care Officer (60F), Anesthesiologist (60N), Nurse Anesthetist (66F), Critical Care Nurse (66S), Nurse Practitioner (66P), ER Nurse (66T), Respiratory Specialist (68V); or Medic (68W).

"We need to hear from you STAT!" Seamands wrote. "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.

There were 415 total cases of COVID-19 being tracked by DoD as of Wednesday, which includes service members, civilians, and family members. Meanwhile, the number of cases across the U.S. has surged in the past few days, with more than 62,000 confirmed cases and at least 919 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

An Army spokesperson told Task & Purpose that the Army is "gauging the availability and capabilities" of retired medical personnel in case they're needed. 

"This extraordinary challenge requires equally extraordinary solutions, and our retired Army healthcare professionals have shown that they are capable of providing the highest level of care while operating under constantly changing conditions," the spokesperson said. 

"This information request will no way interfere with any care they may be providing to their communities, is for future planning purposes only, and is completely voluntary."

You can read the full email below:

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 usarmy.knox.hrc.mbx.g3-retiree-recall@mail.mil or call 502-613-4911, and provide your phone number, address, email, and MOS/Branch.

LTG Thomas C. Seamands

Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1

Update: This article was updated at 10 a.m. on March 26 to include a statement from an Army spokesperson.