This is the first of a two-part series on our military's health system.

Recently, the authors spent several days with our Armed Services as participants in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC). Founded in 1948, the JCOC is the most prestigious public liaison program in the military and is sponsored directly by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Kim Joiner, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Strategic Engagement, leads the JCOC. Charged with bridging the civilian-military divide, Ms. Joiner explains that the JCOC is “the premier outreach event for the Secretary of Defense.” The conference’s mission is to present an integrated picture of America's military, dealing with both national policy as established by civilian leaders, and the military means to carry out that policy. For the first time, this year's JCOC was focused on medical operations, and highlighted...

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