Flight Surgeon Badge (United States)

Flight Surgeon Badge (United States)

The Flight Surgeon Badge is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces which has existed since the Second World War. The Flight Surgeon Badge is presented to those members of the military who are both qualified medical officers and certified flight surgeons. The original Flight Surgeon Badge was first issued by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Since then, the decoration has expanded into four separate military service versions of the Flight Surgeon Badge, with the United States Marine Corps the only branch of service which does not issue the Flight Surgeon Badge. To be awarded the Flight Surgeon Badge, a service member must be a commissioned officer who holds a designation as a medical staff officer. Following the completion of initial military medical training, a service member must undergo further study in Aerospace Medicine. Upon completion of a medical residency, those eligible for the Flight Surgeon Badge must next undergo basic air operations training consistent with that of a qualified aircrew member. Once all requirements have been met, a service member must complete a probationary period to include a series of in-flight missions and medical skills evaluation. Only at the end of this lengthy process with the service member will be awarded the Flight Surgeon Badge.

The United States Army and United States Air Force issue the Flight Surgeon Badge in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Master (Army)/Chief (Air Force). The Basic Flight Surgeon Badge is presented upon completion of initial flight surgeon qualifications, while the Senior and Master versions of the badge are presented based on years of service and number of flight hours performed as a flight surgeon. Typically, the Senior Flight Surgeon Badge is awarded after three to seven years of service, while the Master version is obtained after seven to fifteen years of service. The Senior version of the Flight Surgeon badge is denoted by a star centered above the decoration, while the Master and Chief Flight Surgeon badges display a star and wreath.

The United States Navy and Coast Guard issue the Flight Surgeon Badge in a single degree. There is no Marine Corps equivalent because the United States Marines do not maintain a separate medical corps and utilize naval personnel for these tasks.

It should also be noted that the Flight Surgeon Badge is presented only to qualified and licensed physicians who have undergone the full amount of required training. Enlisted and Warrant personnel, who serve in the temporary position of flight surgeon during certain in-flight missions, are not eligible for the decoration.

In addition to the Flight Surgeon Badge, the United States Navy and Air Force award the Flight Nurse Badge for those nurses qualified in aerospace medicine and in-flight operations. A flight medical specialty badge, the Aviation Psychologist Badge, is an additional decoration awarded by the U.S. Navy.

ee also

* Military badges of the United States
* Obsolete badges of the United States military
* USAF Aeronautical Ratings

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