Air Force medical leader retires after 34 years

  • Published
  • By Jon Stock
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
During a ceremony filled with military tradition and reflection, the 20th surgeon general of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Charles B. Green, retired July 19 after 34 years of service.

Green had the vision of what the Air Force medical field needed during his tenure, what should be championed and how to produce world-class medics as well as believed in continuing to partner with all others who care, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, who officiated at the ceremony here.

Schwartz spoke of retiring surgeon general's remarkable career through his numerous assignments in the medical field, where the overarching comment of commanders was that he was one of the best they had ever seen. He said this ultimately made Green the best candidate for the top medical leadership assignment in the Air Force.

During the ceremony, Schwartz presented Green with the Distinguished Service Medal, second oak leaf cluster, for his service and a personal letter of appreciation as well as letters from President Obama and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.

Green thanked the chief of staff and reminisced on the time they have known each other and served together through the years.

He said his most meaningful memory was when retired Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., the former Air Force surgeon general, put him in charge of U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command where he was tasked to rebuild the aeromedical evacuation system in a time of war when no one thought an aeromedical evacuation system would be there for them.

"After coming together with a plan and seeing it work, we have now moved more than 95,000 casualties safely with the system we put together," said the general.

Green wrapped up his comments by thanking his wife, Becca, for her love and support over the years as well as their children, and said that he looked forward to their future time together.

Green was commissioned through the Health Professions Scholarship Program and entered active duty in 1978, after completing his doctorate of medicine degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed residency training in family practice at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 1981, and in aerospace medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, in 1989.

Green is board certified in aerospace medicine, and he planned and led humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines. He also was command surgeon for three major commands, and served as assistant surgeon general for health care operations.

With a chief flight surgeon rating, Green has 1,200 hours in several aircraft, including C-5 Galaxy, C-130 Hercules and KC-135 Stratotanker.

During his last assignment as the Air Force surgeon general, Green had the responsibility to manage and provide direction of more than 42,000 people assigned to 75 medical facilities worldwide.