George Washington started it by urging the Continental Congress to provide medical care for his army. The US Army Medical Department that resulted is now moving into its 225th year with programs ranging from worldwide support of peacekeeping forces to cancer research and treatment.
Through an Army-administered program at Fort Detrick, Md, the Department of Defense (DOD) now is second only to the National Cancer Institute in funding research for breast cancer. Since 1993, when Congress appropriated $210 million after vigorous lobbying by the National Breast Cancer Coalition (JAMA. 1993;269:2417), more than $800 million has been awarded in nearly 2000 grants to some 850 institutions in the United States and abroad, resulting in such developments as improved classifications of breast density and shape and identification of breast cancer cells in bone marrow and blood.
Gunby P. Another First for George. JAMA. 1999;282(11):1027. doi:10.1001/jama.282.11.1027