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Director of Navy Nurse Corps Retires During Change of Office Ceremony

Aug 02, 2013 12:35PM ● Published by Arden Haley

Rear Adm. Elizabeth Niemyer

By Valerie A. Kremer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

The director of the Navy Nurse Corps and deputy chief, Wounded, Ill, and Injured, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, retired after 32 years of service during a change of office ceremony held at the Women in Service Memorial, Aug. 1.

Rear Adm. Elizabeth Niemyer was relieved by Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, chief of staff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and acting director, Navy Nurse Corps, during the ceremony.

"Today we signify the celebration of a career and a Corps," said Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, who was the officiating officer during the ceremony. "Admiral Niemyer, on behalf of all the Sailors whose lives you’ve touched before and whose lives will be touched because of your efforts in the future, I thank you for what you’ve done and the difference you have made. It has been a privilege and honor to serve with you."

During his remarks, Nathan also added the importance of care Navy nurses provide to their patients, which gives them hope, and adds to the Corps’ legacy.

"If you are severely wounded, anywhere in the world, as you wake up and see a Navy nurse over you tending to your wounds, spirit and pain, all of a sudden you feel confidence and your hope is restored that you are going to make it through," said Nathan. "That is the legacy that the first nurses in the Navy in the 1800s to the Sacred Twenty to the nurses today bring to the game and now you bring your leadership and vision as well as the strategic team that guides us."

During the ceremony, Niemyer, an Annapolis, Md. native, highlighted lessons learned throughout her career and several tours of duty around the globe.

"Being the director of the Navy Nurse Corps was like a coming home for me," said Niemyer. "I am delighted to turn the Nurse Corps over to Rear Adm. McCormick-Boyle. She is ready to take the mantle and lead the Nurse Corps of the future."

Niemyer was presented several letters of appreciation, during the ceremony, for her dedication and sacrifice over the past 32 years of service.

"I have had a blessed career," said Niemyer. "It is because of the outstanding officers, the enlisted and civilian staffs whom I have been privileged to work with. It is because of the love and support of my family that I have flourished. To all those who continue, I wish you fair winds and following seas."

In her distinguished career, Niemyer has held numerous clinical nursing and nursing leadership positions at National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), Bethesda, Md., Naval Medical Clinic Quantico, Va., and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Calif., as well as risk manager at Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan. As a senior executive, Niemyer held the position of director, managed care, NNMC; executive officer and commanding officer, Naval Hospital Rota, Spain; executive director, Tricare Area Office Europe, and deputy chief for operations, BUMED, among others.

As the acting director of the Nurse Corps, McCormick-Boyle addressed the distinguished guests in her new position.

"It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Navy Nurse Corps’s acting director," said McCormick-Boyle. "Admiral Niemyer, over the past three years, you have led us with grace, determination and purpose to care worldwide, anytime, anywhere. Navy Nurses have and continue to care with tremendous distinction and profound commitment on the battlefield, on ships, in operating rooms, clinics, labs, and classrooms, the list goes on. I am so grateful to be a Navy nurse and the privilege to follow in your footsteps and the path you have set forth."

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of more than 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit

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