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Donate Blood at USNA Blood Drive and Save Lives with the ASBP

Image of Donate Blood at USNA Blood Drive and Save Lives with the ASBP. Join the ASBP at the United States Naval Academy blood drive on April 19 and April 20 in Dahlgren Hall for an opportunity to support lifesaving efforts.

This April, blood donors in Annapolis will have an opportunity to help the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) save lives by donating at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) blood drives on April 19 and April 20. All eligible donors are encouraged to come out and donate at Dahlgren Hall between the hours of 1000 and 1900. ASBP Division Chief Navy Capt. Leslie “Les” Riggs highlights just how important each and every donation is.

“There is no substitute for blood, it is a vital tool for saving lives. Whether it be a warfighter in an emergency surgery, or one of their family members receiving a blood transfusion, the need for potent blood products remains steadfast. Donate blood and help make a difference,” Riggs said.

The Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the U.S. military; tasked with a mission to provide quality blood products to military healthcare operations worldwide. The program relies on donations from individual volunteer donors to ensure that there is always a steady supply of blood available for those in need.

The theme of this year's blood drive is “Duty. Honor. Commitment. Donate Blood. Save Lives.” This powerful message is a reminder of the responsibility within the USNA community, from leadership to cadets to staff and supporters, to act on the message whenever possible. Donating blood with the ASBP, helping warfighters and make a direct impact for the larger military community in need, demonstrates taking words to action.

Midshipman Ella Vath was asked to volunteer at the blood drive as a coordinator. Vath, a Chemistry major who hopes to serve in either the submarine community or the USMC, explained how the theme of the blood drive aligns with the values of the midshipmen.

“At the Naval Academy, the goal of the institution is to develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically with the end goal of graduating qualified Naval and Marine Corps Officers. I think many midshipmen understand this and we speak about integrating with the fleet often but, we rarely have a chance to impact it. With an event like the blood drive, it allows midshipmen to connect themselves to the end goal to show moral development in the realms of honor, duty, and commitment. Midshipmen attend USNA to be a part of something greater than themselves and giving blood allows them to do so by ultimately saving lives in the fleet we will soon be proud to join,” Vath said.

As a midshipman, donating is a selfless act that demonstrates leadership qualities and has a positive impact on the lives of others within the military; it is an opportunity for future leaders to make a meaningful contribution to their community. The ASBP is hoping for a large turnout after hosting successful blood drives at other military academies as well this year – both at US Military Academy – West Point and US Air Force Academy. Before you roll up your sleeve to donate blood, it’s important to make sure you meet the standard requirements for eligibility. Prospective donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh a minimum of 116 pounds. Additionally, donors must have been in good health for at least three days prior to donation and have not undergone any major dental procedures within the past three days (cleanings and fillings are permissible after a 24-hour period). It is also important for donors to be well-hydrated and to have eaten prior to donation. While additional deferrals still apply to those donating blood, a recent change has enabled many to donate blood once again.

More individuals are eligible to donate now that the FDA has lifted the Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) deferral that had prevented many from donating. Previously, individuals who had spent significant amounts of time in parts of Europe and other specified areas, or who received blood transfusions in those areas, were deferred due to concerns about vCJD, commonly known as “Mad Cow” disease.

The whole USNA community is welcome to come and support the ASBP; faculty and staff located at USNA and NSA Annapolis are encouraged to donate alongside cadets. All blood types are needed. No appointment is needed to donate however they are recommended.

Don't miss this opportunity! Sign up today to donate blood at the ASBP United States Naval Academy Blood Drive in April. We hope to see you there!

Armed Services Blood Program

Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the United States military. Our mission is to provide quality blood products and support to military health care operations worldwide; from the battlefield to the local hospital, whenever and wherever needed. The ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports, and distributes blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans in peace and war. In an ASBP Enterprise view – Military Health Affairs, Defense Health Agency, Service Blood Programs and Combatant Commands – we operate under common goals, metrics, procedures, and work together to shape the future.

The ASBP is one of four organizations tasked with providing a safe blood supply to the nation. Our program also works closely with our civilian counterparts in times of need to maximize the availability of this national treasure.

To find out more about the ASBP or schedule an appointment to donate, please visit interact directly with ASBP staff members or get the latest news, follow us @militaryblood on Facebook and Twitter, and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram.

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Last Updated: April 10, 2024
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