Who Was Behind Operation Whitecoat?

What Results Did Operation White Coat Generated

Through these experiments, several vaccines that are still used today around the globe were created. Laboratory safety procedures also improved, including differential air pressure which is still employed today to stop pathogens from spreading in modern labs.

Frank Damazo is a retired Frederick surgeon and member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church who has long represented Whitecoat volunteers.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

During the Cold War, more than 2,300 noncombatant conscientious objectors from Seventh-Day Adventist Church volunteered as conscientious objectors for Army medical experiments on new vaccines and infectious pathogens – Operation Whitecoat in military parlance. 

This film recounts their inspiring story of dedication both religiously and to America’s defense, risking their lives to take part. These patriots made important contributions to biodefense research which have saved untold numbers of lives.

USAMRIID at Fort Detrick in Maryland serves as the lead laboratory of the Department of Defense Biological Defense Research Program. As the only one equipped to study highly hazardous viruses at Biosafety Level 4 within positive pressure personnel suits, its research includes rapid diagnostic assay development to protect warfighters and civilians from infectious threats.

USAMRIID researchers are experts in microbiology, molecular biology, virology, immunology and pathology and are overseen by Dr. William D Tigertt as director. Human use challenge studies conducted here allow for evaluation of efficacy while training of military and civilian medical professionals regarding biological warfare casualty management are also conducted here.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Randall Larsen, executive producer of Operation Whitecoat, appeared for an hour-long interview on the Jim Bohannon Show on June 1. This show is carried by over 300 radio stations nationwide.

Seventh-day Adventists believe in Jesus Christ’s imminent return and are actively preparing for it. Because of this belief, their contributions to health and education have been immense – their church offers teaching based on Bible truths as well as medical work to promote healthful living as part of its ministry, plus schools and colleges have been opened by them to emphasize education’s significance.

Operation Whitecoat was an Army biodefense medical research program which ran from 1954 to 1973 and recruited volunteer enlisted soldiers as subjects for its experiments, known as conscientious objectors or “Whitecoats.” The operation was one of the largest such programs ever carried out in the US.

Seventh-day Adventists possess an intense focus on missionary outreach both domestically and internationally, through both traditional methods like street missions and modern media channels such as internet publishing. 

Furthermore, the church operates hospitals and clinics, provides nutritional education and lifestyle counseling as well as running development projects across the globe – and today boasts 19 million members globally with significant presences in both America and 200 other nations worldwide.

Ken Jones

Ken Jones is a former high school teacher and rugby journalist who currently serves as chairman of Fairbourne Properties, an investment and management firm with over 10 Million Square Feet under management in the US. Additionally, he serves as executive vice president and senior managing director for TL Capital and Third Lake funds managed by TMT Private Equity Funds.

Fort Detrick, the military’s biological research center located outside Washington DC, began a multi-year project known as Operation Whitecoat in 1954. 

Researchers recruited 2,300 volunteers for inoculation with various viruses and germs – such as yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, plague, and tularemia (rabbit fever) — with the aim of developing effective vaccines and treatments against biological warfare.

These experiments violated the Nuremberg Code and were considered unethical by many scientists, yet the Army issued directives upholding its ethical principles.

Ken Jones was born and trained at Rada Theatre Workshop run by Joan Littlewood. After making several television drama and comedy appearances – such as Porridge and The Squirrels – he joined Kanzeon Sangha as Genpo Roshi’s disciple, going on to produce 27 plays and nine musicals while writing both fiction and nonfiction works.

Art Walls

Ash Ledet, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who explores stories of human innovation that embody Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of freedom for all Americans, has worked across public broadcasting, educational institutions and independent features. His dedication to nuanced understandings of American narrative has garnered him accolades including one from University of Virginia with their highest valedictory honor award.

Ledet’s film, Operation Whitecoat,” documents over 2,300 Adventist, noncombatant conscientious objectors who volunteered in biodefense research from 1954 to 1973 as noncombatant conscientious objectors for biodefense research between 1954-1973. 

They demonstrated extraordinary courage and commitment to their religious principles in an unprecedented program that produced far beyond Army biodefense. Following Lockwood, USF Health executive vice president and MCOM dean Elham Yousef MD of Tampa General Hospital shared her expectations from wearing the white coat.


In conclusion, the orchestrators behind Operation Whitecoat were visionary military and medical leaders who sought to reconcile the demands of national defense with the principles of conscientious objectors.

Colonel William Tigertt, commanding officer of the Medical Unit of WRAMC (now USAMRIID), and Elder George W. Chambers, Director of War Service Commission, General Conference Headquarters of Seventh-day Adventist, played pivotal roles in introducing this groundbreaking initiative.

Their collaboration paved the way for a unique biomedical research program that enlisted conscientious objectors, predominantly from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to participate voluntarily in experiments studying the effects of biological warfare agents. 

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