Surgeon General of the United States Army

Surgeon General of the United States Army
This article is about the senior physician in the U.S. Army. For the head of the U.S. Public Health Service, see Surgeon General of the United States. For other uses, see Surgeon General (disambiguation).
Surgeon General of the
United States Army

LTG Eric Schoomaker.jpg

LTG Eric B. Schoomaker
Since: December 11, 2007
First Benjamin Church, Jr.
Formation March 13, 1813
Website Official Website

Flag of the Surgeon General of the United States Army with fringe.svg

The Surgeon General of the United States Army is the senior-most officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD). By policy, the Surgeon General (TSG) serves as Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) as well as head of the AMEDD. His (or her) office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) and are located in Falls Church, Virginia.

By law, the Surgeon General may be appointed from any of the six officer branches of the AMEDD. However, to date appointed and confirmed Surgeons General have always been medical corps officers (military physicians). Since 1959, TSG has been appointed in the grade of Lieutenant General.



As a Commanding General, TSG provides advice and assistance to the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA) and to the Secretary of the Army (SECARMY) on all health care matters pertaining to the U.S. Army and its military health care system. He or she is responsible for development, policy direction, organization and overall management of an integrated Army-wide health service system and is the medical materiel developer for the Army. These duties include formulating policy regulations on health service support, health hazard assessment and the establishment of health standards. TSG is assisted by a Deputy Surgeon General.


Congress established the Medical Service of the Continental Army on July 27, 1775 and emplaced a "Chief physician & director general" of the Continental Army as its head at that time. The first five “surgeons general” of the U.S. Army served under this title. An Act of May 28, 1789 established a "Physician general" of the U.S. Army (only Doctors Richard Allison and James Craik served according to this nomenclature). An Act of March 13, 1813 cited the "Physician & surgeon general" of the U.S. Army. This nomenclature remained in place until the Medical Department was established by the Reorganization Act of April 14, 1818. (Physicians assigned to the U.S. Army were not accorded military rank until 1847.)

Surgeons General of the U.S. Army and their precursors

No. Name Dates of Tenure Military Rank
1 Benjamin Church, Jr July 27, 1775–October 16, 1775 None
2 John Morgan October 16, 1775–January 1777 None
3 William Shippen, Jr. April 11, 1777–January 17, 1781 None
4 John Cochran January 17, 1781–1783 None
VACANT 1783–1792 --
5 Richard Allison 1792–1796 None
VACANT 1796–August 1, 1798 --
6 James Craik August 1, 1798–June 15, 1800 None
VACANT June 15, 1800–June 11, 1813 --
7 James Tilton June 11, 1813–June 15, 1815 None
VACANT June 15, 1815–April 18, 1818 --
8 Joseph Lovell April 18, 1818–October 17, 1836 None
9 Thomas Lawson October 17, 1836–May 15, 1861 Brigadier General (Brevet)
10 Clement Finley May 15, 1861–April 28, 1862 Brigadier General
11 William Alexander Hammond April 28, 1862–August 18, 1864 Brigadier General
12 Joseph K. Barnes August 18, 1864–1882 Brigadier General
13 Charles H. Crane 1882–1883 Brigadier General
14 Robert Murray 1883–1886 Brigadier General
15 John Moore 1886–1890 Brigadier General
16 Jedediah Hyde Baxter 1890 Brigadier General
17 Charles Sutherland 1890–May 30, 1893 Brigadier General
18 George Miller Sternberg May 30, 1893– June 8, 1902 Brigadier General
19 William H. Forwood June 8, 1902– September 7, 1902 Brigadier General
20 Robert M. O'Reilly September 7, 1902–January 14, 1909 Brigadier General
21 George H. Torney January 14, 1909–December 27, 1913 Brigadier General
22 William Crawford Gorgas January 1914–1918 Major General
23 Merritte Weber Ireland 1918–1931 Major General
24 Robert U. Patterson 1931–1935 Major General
25 Charles R. Reynolds 1935–1939 Major General
26 James C. Magee 1939–1943 Major General
27 Norman T. Kirk 1943–1947 Major General
28 Raymond W. Bliss 1947–1951 Major General
29 George E. Armstrong 1951–1955 Major General
30 Silas B. Hays 1955–June 1959 Major General
31 Leonard D. Heaton June 1959–1969 Lieutenant General
32 Hal B. Jennings 1969–October 1973 Lieutenant General
33 Richard R. Taylor October 1973–1977 Lieutenant General
34 Charles C. Pixley 1977–1981 Lieutenant General
35 Bernard T. Mittemeyer 1981–1985 Lieutenant General
36 Quinn H. Becker 1985–1988 Lieutenant General
37 Frank F. Ledford, Jr 1988–1992 Lieutenant General
38 Alcide M. Lanoue 1992–October 1996 Lieutenant General
39 Ronald R. Blanck October 1996– September 22, 2000 Lieutenant General
40 James B. Peake September 22, 2000 – July 8, 2004 Lieutenant General
41 Kevin C. Kiley September 30, 2004–March 12, 2007 Lieutenant General (retired as Major General)
(Acting) Gale Pollock March 12, 2007–December 11, 2007[1] Major General
42 Eric B. Schoomaker December 11, 2007– Lieutenant General

Agencies and programs within the OTSG

References and notes

  1. ^ MG Pollock, a U.S. Army Nurse Corps officer, served as Acting Surgeon General for nine months after LTG Kiley resigned in the wake of the 2007 Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal. (Army News Release)

See also

Library and Museum of the OTSG, Washington, D.C.; Hand-colored photo, 1887.

External links

Coordinates: 38°50′36″N 77°07′01″W / 38.843456°N 77.116861°W / 38.843456; -77.116861

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