Following World War I a number of faculty members in Adventist colleges believed that pre-military training and guidance should continue to be given students of draft age.

In the fall of 1933 Union College history professor Everett N. Dick presented a proposal to college president Milian Lauritz Andreasen which led to a sustained program. Dick initially asked Andreasen to present his idea to the Youth Department at the General Conference’s autumn council. When leaders of the Youth Department tabled the proposal, Andreasen returned to Union College and encouraged Dick to begin work anyway. With assistance from Major Emil H. Burger of the Nebraska Army National Guard, Dick along with other faculty members held the first Union College Medical Corps class on January 8, 1934.

The training consisted of drills, first aid, and military etiquette. Participating students received credit for physical education, but both the name “Medical Corps” and the training emphasized medical skills. Several Adventist colleges soon asked Dick about starting similar programs on their campuses.

Meanwhile, in southern California, Dr. Cyril B. Courville, a Reserve Army Major on staff at the White Memorial Hospital (now White Memorial Medical Center) in Los Angeles, California, started a program he called the Medical Cadet Corps which provided pre-military training for men who would potentially become medical officers. Courville also obtained the endorsement of the U.S. Surgeon General and had charge of training procedures for the 47th General Hospital, an Army Reserve unit sponsored by the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University).

When the General Conference met for its Autumn Council in 1939 shortly after fighting broke out in Europe, church leaders finally sanctioned the Union College Medical Corps program but formally adopted Courville’s Medical Cadet Corps name, although the program would always focus on preparing enlisted soldiers.

About this time, Everett Dick and two other leaders met with officials of the U.S. Surgeon General’s office to establish a unified curriculum for the MCC. Thus started a twenty-year relationship between Dick and officers of the Surgeon General’s office. This relationship resulted in a curriculum continuously revised to meet evolving military standards and recognition for Adventist soldiers which routinely placed them in the Army’s Medical Corps.[7]