About 137 members of the Atlantic Union Conference Medical Cadet Corps (MCC) met on October 20 in Machlan Auditorium in Lancaster, Massachusetts, for its first general assembly.
MCC is a program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that started in the United States in the 1930s with the original intention of preparing young men of draft age for military service in noncombatant lifesaving roles. MCC is a ministry of the General Conference under the World Service Organization/National Service Organization (WSO/NSO), which is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries Department.
MCC has demonstrated how youth, young adults, and senior adult members can provide spiritual care, first aid, mental health first aid, disaster relief, rescue, and response, as well as onsite supportive services in the areas of traffic control and public safety in times of emergency. MCC works in partnership with the church’s Adventist Community Services department (ACS), Adventist Youth Ministries (AYM), and with federal and local organizations such as FEMA, the American Red Cross, and government emergency management agencies.
MCC in the Atlantic Union is under the leadership of MCC Major General Dionisio Olivo, who serves as its operational commander. The Atlantic Union MCC currently has three participating conferences (brigades): Greater New York, Northeastern, and Southern New England.
In gathering for the first assembly, the MCC leadership had a twofold objective. First, it was to affirm the work and ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Medical Cadet Corps in the territory of the Atlantic Union Conference, and second, to increase personal readiness for operational service. The cadets were reminded that this volunteer service organization is designed to provide an intentional, strategic, and purposeful ministry of service in the aftermath of tragedy and disaster. The MCC motto is “Serve, Serve, Serve!”
Olivo took time to express appreciation for the sacrifice MCC members have made since its inception in the 1930s. He gave a biblically-based devotional message and instructed the assembly on MCC’s history, relevance, and mission.
Elias Zabala, Sr., Atlantic Union Conference treasurer, visited the group and revealed that he, too, has been a trained member of the Medical Cadet Corps from his youth. Zabala was welcomed back into service and presented with the Atlantic Union Conference MCC pin.
Each of the MCC leaders greeted the assembly and gave a report on MCC activities in their respective areas of command. Assisting Olivo during the assembly were Brigadier Generals Gordon Jones, Daniel Velez, Javier Alcon, and Samuel Santiago; MCC Colonel Euclides Navarro; MCC Lieutenant Colonel Frankie Vazquez-Nenadich; and MCC Major Daniel Aviles.
Much of the day was spent receiving informational training in an area of critical response, including blood-borne pathogen training presented by Aviles and an introduction to disasters presented by Vazquez-Nenadich. Velez presented information on the spiritual life of the MCC, and Jones concluded with a presentation on the MCC as a family.
The assembly, an affirming experience, provided the emphasis for continuous and collaborative service to God, church, community, and country. The Atlantic Union Conference MCC will convene annually for the general assembly on the third Sunday of October.
Gordon Jones, brigadier general, Atlantic Union Conference Medical Cadet Corps