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Heroes Behind the Mask

Female soldier wearing a mask, with her arms crossed, and the words "Heroes Behind the Mask."

COVID-19 is a threat like nothing ever faced by modern medicine. Nearly a year into this deadly pandemic, the men and women of the Military Health System have gone to heroic lengths serving their communities, their country, their fellow service members, and their patients. In December, as we look back on the Year in Military Medicine, the MHS celebrates the “Heroes Behind the Mask” who were so instrumental to our success in 2020, and to whom we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for their bravery, commitment and sacrifice.


Hon. Tom McCaffrey, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs:

"We owe deep gratitude to our heroes, in uniform and out, who continue to work tirelessly around the clock to protect our country and support the government-wide effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."


Everyone in military medicine, from surgeons, primary care doctors and pharmacists, to nurses and technicians, to administrative, custodial, administrative and food service staff, placed themselves in harm’s way to fight the pandemic. Every contribution, from treating patients, to keeping the lights on and the floors clean, was absolutely vital to keeping the system functioning.

The stress COVID-19 placed on every member of the MHS was monumental, and every member rose to the challenge. Our team exhibited diligence, sacrifice, innovative thinking and compassion to meet the challenges. With deepest gratitude, we look back on some of the heroes behind the mask who helped us get 2020, and give us hope as look towards 2021.


Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, DHA Director:

"Across the Military Health System, we're thankful for the daily selfless service made by the men and women in uniform who continue to put themselves in harm's way to combat the COVID-19 virus during these challenging times."  


Man putting on PPE, including a maskMedical personnel wearing a mask, looking at a vial

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