Air Force officials welcome 21st surgeon general

  • Published
  • By Jon Stock
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
The Air Force welcomed its 21st surgeon general as Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas W. Travis was sworn in by Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz on July 20 here.

Travis has been the Air Force deputy surgeon general since Nov. 2010, and replaces Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Charles B. Green, who retired.

At his ceremony, Travis said, "I promise to all of you in the AFMS (Air Force Medical Service) I will do my very best. We will lead the AFMS into the future and take on the challenges that we may face in these tough times."

Travis entered the Air Force in 1976 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was awarded his pilot wings in 1978 and served as an F-4 Phantom II pilot and aircraft commander. The general completed his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine, where he was the top Air Force graduate, and in 1987 he became a flight surgeon.

For more than three years, Travis was chief of medical operations for the Human Systems Program Office at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. He later served as the director of operational health support and chief of aerospace medicine division for the Air Force Medical Operations Agency in Washington, D.C.

The general has commanded the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine; the 311th Human Systems Wing at Brooks AFB; Malcolm Grow Medical Center and 79th Medical Wing, Andrews AFB, Md.; and the 59th Medical Wing, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas. He also served as the Command Surgeon, Headquarters, Air Force District of Washington, and Command Surgeon, Headquarters, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.

He is board certified in aerospace medicine. A command pilot and chief flight surgeon, he has more than 1,800 flying hours and is one of the Air Force's few pilot-physicians. He has flown the F-4 Phantom II, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon as mission pilot and the Royal Air Force Hawk as the senior medical officer and pilot.

Other recent Air Force medical service general officer announcements include Maj. Gen. Mark A. Ediger's promotion to Deputy Surgeon General; Brig. Gen. Sean L. Murphy's promotion to Air Force Medical Operations Agency commander; and Brig. Gen. Charles E. Potter's promotion to Assistant Surgeon General, Health Care Operations.