Brigadier General Gwendolyn A. Foster

Brig. Gen. Gwendolyn A. Foster is the Director of Staff to the Surgeon General, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. As Director of Staff, she directly supports the Air Force Surgeon General as they advise the Secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Space Force Chief of Space Operations and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs on matters pertaining to the medical aspects of the air expeditionary force and the health of Airmen and Guardians, supporting over a $6.1 billion, 44,000-person integrated health care delivery and readiness system serving 2.6 million beneficiaries at 76 military treatment facilities worldwide.

Brig. Gen. Foster also serves as the 19th Chief Nurse of the Air Force, responsible for establishing policies and maintaining programs for 19,000 active duty, Guard and Reserve nursing personnel. She coordinates with Air Staff, Joint Staff, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and civilian health care organizations to develop the highest caliber of nursing personnel ensuring trusted reliable care to the Military Health System’s 9.6 million beneficiaries worldwide. She has deployed and served in multiple leadership positions at the Squadron and Group level.

Brig. Gen. Foster entered the military at 17 years old, serving in the Illinois Army National Guard and the Army Reserve for eight years as a Field Medic before being honorably discharged in 1996. Afterwards, she earned her master’s degree in nursing (Midwifery) and worked as a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) for two years before entering active duty in 2001.

1995 Bachelor of Science, Nursing, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Md.
1999 Master of Science, Nursing, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
2007 CJ Reddy Nursing Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C.
2007 Nursing Service Management, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
2007 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2012 Master of Arts, Military Operation Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Patient Centered Medical Home Executive Leadership Course, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
2015 Intermediate Executive Skills Course, San Antonio, Texas
2018 Master of Arts, Strategic Military Studies, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2020 Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute Capstone Course, virtual
2021 Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives Senior Leader Course, Falls Church, Va.
2022 Joint Senior Medical Leaders Course, Falls Church, Va.
2022 Executive Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1. April 2002–October 2003, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Women’s Health Clinic, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
2. November 2003–April 2006, CNM, Women’s Health Clinic, Yokota Air Base, Japan
3. May 2006–April 2010, GYN Element Leader, GYN Clinic, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas (January 2008–May 2008, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Clinic, Balad AB, Iraq)
4. April 2010–June 2012, OB/GYN Flight Commander, David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, Calif. (May 2012–June 2012, Chief/CNM, Medical Readiness Exercise TF Tropic, Honduras)
5. August 2012–June 2013, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. June 2013–June 2015, Deputy Squadron Commander, Air Force Element Medical Department of Defense, Andrews AFB, Md.
7. June 2015–May 2017, Squadron Commander, 559 Trainee Health Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
8. July 2017–May 2018, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2018–June 2020, Commander, 412th Medical Group, Edwards AFB, Calif.
10. July 2020–July 2022, Commander, 60th Medical Group, Travis AFB, Calif.
11. July 2022–present, Director of Staff, Surgeon General, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Army Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Iraq Campaign Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Rifle)
2004 374th Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Year, Yokota Air Base, Japan
2006 59th Medical Operations Group Company Grade Officer of the Year, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2009 Lackland Federal Women’s Annual Award
2012 Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing Advocate of the Year
2014 Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing Emerging Leader
2019 Air Force Materiel Command Wilma Vaught Award
2021 Congressman John Garamendi’s Woman of the Year, Solano County, Calif.

Fellow, American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Fellow, American College of Nurse-Midwives
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses American Nurses Association
Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society

(Current as of June 2024)