How the U.S. Army Reserve is Supporting the Fight Against COVID-19

How the U.S. Army Reserve is Supporting the Fight Against COVID-19


Providing more than half of the Army’s medical strength and 60 percent of its logistics capabilities, the Army Reserve is uniquely skilled to assist in mitigating the impact of the virus. The Army Reserve brings specialized capabilities that are needed right now, such as critical medical specialties, public health services, and logistical support.

One of the most important areas where Army Reserve soldiers are serving during this crisis is in hospitals across the nation, especially the ones that are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

They are providing medical support; as doctors and nurses on the front lines of this pandemic, at both local hospitals and field hospitals set up in convention centers. They’re also helping to set up hospitals, where the need for medical support is the greatest.

The Army vetted all Reserve volunteers to make sure they weren’t already supporting hospitals in their own communities. There are 15 Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces comprised of 85 soldiers each capable of providing the same service as a 250-bed hospital.

Each task force has 14 doctors, including an infectious disease specialist, four respiratory specialists, 16 medics, 13 nurses, five physician assistants, four pharmacists, two clinical psychologists, a psychiatrist, and other supporting staff to perform low-triage care, as well as test for COVID-19.

America’s Army Reserve has Soldiers and equipment in more than 1,100 communities and for 112 years, it has answered the Nation’s call. It is the most capable, combat-ready, and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of our nation.

Join me in a recent interview with Brigadier General Joseph Heck, Commanding General, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) as he outlines the role of the Army Reserve in the current war against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent weeks, BG Heck has been helping establish field hospitals and mobilizing hundreds of U.S. Army Reserve medical specialists in regions most affected by COVID-19.

Listen to the entire interview here.

For more information, go to


Bio for Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Heck

Commanding General, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

Brigadier General Joseph Heck was born in Jamaica, New York, and grew up in Pennsylvania.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Brig. Gen. Heck completed a general internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital and a residency in Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center, both in Philadelphia. He is board-certified in Emergency Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Emergency Medical Services. Brig. Gen. Heck received his direct commission into the United States Army Reserve, Medical Corps in 1991. He holds a secondary AOC as a Flight Surgeon and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College with a Masters of Strategic Studies. Brig. Gen. Heck’s military positions included: Chief of Emergency Services,  2290th USAH, Washington, D.C.; Operational Medicine Officer/J3-J5, U.S. Northern Command, Colorado Springs, CO; Chief of Emergency Services / Aero-Medical Evacuation, 325th CSH, Al Asad, Iraq; Commander, 6252D USAH, San Diego, CA; Commander, Western Medical Area Readiness Support Group, San Pablo, CA; and Medical Advisor, Office of the Chief Army Reserve.  He previously serves as Deputy Commanding General, 3rd Medical Command, Atlanta, GA, and currently serves as the Commanding General of the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support).

 Brig. Gen. Heck was elected in 2010 to the US House of Representatives representing the third congressional district for the State of Nevada. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the Education & Workforce Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he chairs the subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.

 Brig. Gen. Heck’s military awards include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters),  Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (5 Oak Leaf Clusters),  Armed Forces Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1 Service Star), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (20-yr Award and M Device), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon. Brig. Gen. Heck is also admitted to the Military Order of Medical Merit.

Brig. Gen. Heck is married to Lisa Heck and they have three children and they reside in Henderson, NV.

*Interview courtesy of the U.S. Army Reserve








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Cynthia Tait

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