Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Establishment by Congress of the Navy Hospital Corps

CHAP. 463.—An Act To organize a hospital corps of the Navy of the United States; to define it duties and regulate its pay.

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, That a hospital corps of the United States Navy is hereby established, and shall consist of pharmacists hospital stewards, hospital apprentices (first class), and hospital apprentices; and for this purpose the Secretary of the Navy is empowered to appoint twenty-five pharmacists with the rank, pay, and privileges of warrant officers, removable in the discretion of the Secretary, and to enlist, or cause to be enlisted, as many hospital stewards, hospital apprentices (first class), and hospital apprentices as in his judgment may be necessary, and to limit or fix the number, and to make such regulations as may be required for their enlistment and government. Enlisted men in the Navy or the Marine Corps shall be eligible for transfer to the hospital corps, and vacancies occurring in the grade of pharmacist shall be filled by the Secretary of the Navy by selection from those holding the rate of hospital steward.

     SEC. 2. That all necessary hospital and ambulance service at naval hospitals, naval stations, navy-yards, and marine barracks, and on vessels of the Navy, Coast Survey, and Fish Commission, shall be performed by the members of said corps, and the corps shall be permanently attached to the Medical Department of the Navy, and shall be included in the effective strength of the Navy and be counted as a part of the enlisted force provided by law, and shall be subject to the laws and regulations for the government of the Navy.

     SEC. 3. That the pay of hospital stewards shall be sixty dollars a month, and the pay of hospital apprentices (first class) thirty dollars a month, and the pay of hospital apprentices twenty dollars a month, with the increase on account of length of service as is now or may hereafter be allowed by law to other enlisted men in the Navy.

     SEC. 4. That all benefits derived from existing laws, or that may hereafter be allowed by law, to other warrant officers or enlisted men in the Navy shall be allowed in the same manner to the warrant officers or enlisted men in the hospital corps of the Navy.

     SEC. 5. That all acts and parts of acts, so far as they conflict with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.

     Approved, June 17, 1898.

Source Note Print: The Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from March, 1897, to March 1899. Edited, Printed and Published by Authority of Congress, Under the Direction of the Secretary of State, Vol. XXX (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1899), pp. 474-75. This Act was passed by the Fifty-First Congress, second session, 1898. There are words in the right and left margins giving the topic covered by that section. Those have not been reproduced here.

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