What is Military Medicine?

Dr. Joseph Caravalho, HJF's President and CEO

Military Medicine: A Great Need

Through the centuries and the wars, military medicine has cared for those who put themselves in harm’s way.

In the beginning, more soldiers died from disease than from war wounds. As weapons increasingly became more deadly, the vast majority of the wounded died before even reaching a hospital.  

From carrying the wounded on stretchers to pushing advanced care forward as close to the point of injury as possible, military medicine has continued to evolve. An impressive list of individuals have contributed over the years to remarkable achievements and those innovations have moved out from military health to positively impact civilian health.

Active Duty Military Members
Military Treatment Facilities Globally
United States Veterans

A Vital Mission

From bayonets to roadside bombs, military medicine has learned to treat the injuries that threaten our troops. A modern Military Health System now focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of maladies that affect service members and civilians alike. 

Whether it’s protecting our troops from battlefield wounds or from infectious disease, military medicine provides the highest quality of care for its service members. As doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have learned how to care for those in the armed forces, the civilian population also benefits. The same sophisticated techniques that deliver the critical first hour of care—the “golden hour”—for service members ultimately benefit all of us.  

HJF plays an important role in military medicine. As a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which was authorized in 1983 by the U.S. Congress, we connect the military medical community with partners in the public and private sectors to perform this vital mission. 

Our sole mission is to advance military medicine.  

From Soldiers to Civilians

In early September 2021, the Defense Health Agency published a story highlighting a number of the advancements military medicine has made since the September 11, 2001 attacks. Many of the advances highlighted were supported in part by HJF.

Read the article linked below to find out how HJF supported these critical military medical innovations. 


Operationalizing Research Priorities 

HJF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing military medicine. We serve military, medical, academic and government clients by administering, managing and supporting preeminent scientific programs that benefit members of the armed forces and civilians alike. 

Since its founding in 1983, HJF has served as a vital link between the military medical community and its federal and private partners. HJF's support and administrative capabilities allow military medical researchers and clinicians to maintain their scientific focus and accomplish their research goals. We are the trusted partner to advance military medicine globally for the mutual benefit of military and civilian health. 

Many are not aware of the positive impact military medicine has on the general public, as well as service members, veterans, and their families.  For a recent example, consider how military medicine responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The military medical ecosystem pivoted from pre-COVID work to fight the coronavirus in many ways, including diagnosing, treating, and preventing the disease, while also streamlining processes to move quickly for the greater good. 

To shine a light on the value of military medicine, HJF compiled an anthology of impact stories that showcase sample case studies from various federal agencies. 

HJF's Contributions to Military Medicine

Baby with oxygen mask

RespiGam and Synagis
Female scientist in full gown and working in a containment box

ACESO and HJF Strengthen Laboratory Capabilities in Liberia
A group of people in medical scrubs work to transport a patient. Patient's leg is seen with wound dressings.

The Road to CAP: HJF Teammates Strive for Excellence

Early Detection for HIV
Vet technicians with horses in field

Nipah Virus Vaccine
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