The colors maroon and white are those associated with the Army Medical Department. The green spruce branches denote hope, good health, and growth and are symbolic of Alaska's state tree. The maroon cross reflects medicine, compassion and zeal. The staff and serpent are adapted from the staff of Aesculapius, the mythological God of Medicine and represents life giving powers. The snow capped mountain refers to Alaska's Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in the United States and the home state and area of operations.