Harry S. Truman photo

Veto of Bill To Establish an Army Optometry Corps.

May 09, 1946

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith, without my approval, H.R. 3755, the purpose of which is to establish an Optometry Corps in the Medical Department of the Army. In my opinion a separate Optometry Corps would be out of harmony not only with the present structure of the Medical Corps, but also with the contemplated organization of the Medical Department of the postwar Army.

During the course of the war, the Army has utilized optometrists to the maximum extent consistent with sound medical practice. The Medical Department of the postwar Army will likewise utilize optometrists to the maximum extent practicable. It is contemplated that they, together with the other professional and scientific groups included in modern medical service, will constitute a Medical Service Corps, with appropriate commissioned rank. However, our military personnel are entitled to the best medical care available; and the creation of additional separate corps will, in my opinion, hinder rather than facilitate the accomplishment of this aim. Medical care must be directed and coordinated by officers professionally trained and competent to recognize pathological conditions and assume complete responsibility for adequate care.

Furthermore, H.R. 3755 would establish a promotion plan providing more rapid advancement for optometrists than for most other branches of the Army and no persuasive reason is apparent why this particular group should be afforded more favorable treatment than others similarly situated.


Harry S Truman, Veto of Bill To Establish an Army Optometry Corps. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231804

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