AF welcomes new surgeon general Published June 9, 2015 By Larine Barr Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) -- Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Mark A. Ediger was promoted by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer, as the 22nd Air Force surgeon general, in a ceremony June 8, at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. Ediger has been the Air Force deputy surgeon general since July 2012, and replaces Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas W. Travis, who retired June 5 after 39 years of service. "Mark became interested in medicine at age 12, and he knew he wanted to be a doctor in high school, so he was very focused at a young age," Spencer said during the ceremony. "Mark is a great officer and great leader. He is the right person to take over and will be a fantastic surgeon general for the Air Force." As surgeon general, Ediger will serve as functional manager of the Air Force Medical Service. In this capacity, he will advise the secretary of the Air Force and Air Force chief of staff, as well as the assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs on matters pertaining to the medical aspects of the air expeditionary force and the health of Air Force people. The general has authority to commit resources worldwide for the AFMS, to make decisions affecting the delivery of medical services, and to develop plans, programs and procedures to support worldwide medical service missions. He will manage a $6.6 billion, 44,000-person integrated health care delivery system serving 2.6 million beneficiaries at 75 military treatment facilities worldwide. "The Air Force Medical Service provides trusted care, anywhere," said Ediger during the ceremony after his family pinned on his third star. "Trust can't be assumed, it is earned every day. I am privileged and honored to serve and I pledge my continued commitment to the health and resilience of our Airmen and their families." Ediger has served as the aerospace medicine consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General, commanded two medical groups and served as command surgeon for three major commands. He deployed in support of operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. He also holds a rating of chief flight surgeon with more than 800 flying hours, including 90 combat support hours and 38 combat hours in the C-130 Hercules, MH-53, F-15 Eagle, T-38 Talon and KC-135 Stratotanker.