The COVID-19 pandemic has made the Navy reconsider its plan to cut medical staff, the service’s top doctor told reporters last week.

A pre-pandemic proposal would have cut 18,000 medical jobs DOD-wide, primarily by leaving positions vacant as personnel left. As Military.com noted, the Army would lose about 7,300 jobs, and the Navy and Air Force would lose about 5,300 each.

“A few things have changed since that initial proposal,” Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham said Thursday. “Obviously we want to make sure that we’re able to meet mission and that our leaders understand whatever risks they may incur with the proposed cuts.”

Gillingham said analysts are looking into the service’s capability to address public health and preventive medicine.

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Bigley