Who is bearing the brunt of current casualities and who will bear the brunt in the future? Clearly the Army. No one can challenge the United States on the seas or in the air, but as always the foot soldier will suffer most of the injuries and deaths. Therefore the Army, even more than the other services, needs the capability to care for the critically wounded. The lethality and destruction of the improvised explosive device (IED) is well-known and will be copied by future enemies of the United States. Soldiers on the battlefield must have a military physician when needed. The closing of Walter Reed Army Medical Center could decrease the likelihood that they will have those physicians.
Where do Army doctors come from? Most come from Army graduate medical education programs. The majority of these programs and trainees are in the major medical centers. Why there instead of the community hospitals? Because that is where the types of patients are that we need to train military physicians as well as many other critical-care providers.