Col. Arthur Wittich, D.O.’71, was featured in an Army News Service article for his half-century-plus of military service, helping service members and their families across the globe. He began his military career in the Navy as a hospital corpsman and then commissioned into the Army after earning his medical degree. Now an obstetrics/gynecology staff physician at Fort Belvoir, VA, Col. Wittich has served in posts in Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Korea and Saudi Arabia, with stateside assignments in Arizona, Colorado and Hawaii, to name a few. He estimates he’s delivered 8,000 to 9,000 babies.
“I’m blessed that I have two professions,” he said about being a doctor and a military officer. “As long as I can do both well, I’d like to continue doing this.”
One of the first doctors of osteopathic medicine to train in the Army, Col. Wittich, 75, is the oldest soldier in the regular Army and the longest serving. Having such a long career has given him a place of honor at the Army’s annual birthday cake-cutting at the Pentagon, as the oldest soldier in the Military District of Washington.
In the Army News Service article, Col. Wittich noted the myriad ways the medical world has changed since he was a young Navy corpsman, from amazing medical advances in surgery, prosthetics and battlefield care, to the inclusion of more women and minorities in the medical field.
“There were no females in my medical school class. There were no females in my residency; in my first assignment, there were no female doctors in the hospital I was in. I’m talking about Landstuhl [the largest U.S. Army hospital in Germany], so it’s changed a lot,” he said.