Surgeon General of the United States Army
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Surgeon General of the United States Army
Surgeon General of the
United States Army
Flag of the Surgeon General of the United States Army with fringe.svg
Flag of the Surgeon General of the Army
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle.jpg
Army-USA-OF-08.svg LTG R. Scott Dingle

since October 17, 2019
Reports to
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, United States
AppointerThe President with
United States Senate
advice and consent
Term length4 years
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 3036
FormationMarch 13, 1813 (1813-03-13)
First holderBenjamin Church, Jr.
DeputyDeputy Surgeon General of the Army

The Surgeon General of the United States Army is the senior-most officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD). By policy, the Surgeon General (TSG) serves as Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) as well as head of the AMEDD. The surgeon general's office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) and are located in Falls Church, Virginia.

Since 1959, TSG has been appointed in the grade of lieutenant general. By law, TSG may be appointed from any of the six officer branches of the AMEDD. However, prior to the 43rd Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho -- an Army Nurse Corps officer -- all appointed and confirmed surgeons general have been Medical Corps officers -- military physicians. The incumbent Surgeon General is medical administrator Lieutenant General R. Scott Dingle, a Medical Service Corps officer.[1] The 44th Army Surgeon LTG Nadja West retired on July 19, 2019.


As a commanding general, TSG provides advice and assistance to the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA) and to the Secretary of the Army (SECARMY) on all health care matters pertaining to the U.S. Army and its military health care system. The incumbent is responsible for development, policy direction, organization and overall management of an integrated Army-wide health service system and is the medical materiel developer for the Army. These duties include formulating policy regulations on health service support, health hazard assessment and the establishment of health standards. TSG is assisted by the Deputy Surgeon General.


Congress established the Medical Service of the Continental Army on July 27, 1775, and placed a "Chief physician & director general" of the Continental Army as its head. The first five surgeons general of the U.S. Army served under this title. An Act of Congress of May 28, 1789, established a "Physician general" of the U.S. Army. Only two physicians, doctors Richard Allison and James Craik, served under this nomenclature. A Congressional Act of March 3, 1813, cited the "Physician & surgeon general" of the U.S. Army. That nomenclature remained in place until the Medical Department was established by the Reorganization Act of April 14, 1818. Additionally, physicians assigned to the U.S. Army were not accorded military rank until 1847.

Surgeons General of the U.S. Army and their precursors

Incumbents from July 27, 1775 -- including periods of vacancy
No. Name Dates of Tenure Military Rank
1 Benjamin Church, Jr. July 27, 1775–October 16, 1775 None
2 John Morgan October 16, 1775–January 1777 None
3 William Shippen, Jr. April 11, 1777–January 17, 1781 None
4 John Cochran January 17, 1781–1783 None
5 Richard Allison 1792–1796 None
    1796–August 1, 1798  
6 James Craik August 1, 1798–June 15, 1800 None
    June 15, 1800–June 11, 1813  
7 James Tilton June 11, 1813–June 15, 1815 None
    June 15, 1815–April 18, 1818  
8 Joseph Lovell April 18, 1818–October 17, 1836 None
9 Thomas Lawson October 17, 1836–May 15, 1861 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brevet Brigadier General
10 Clement Finley May 15, 1861–April 28, 1862 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
11 William A. Hammond April 28, 1862–August 18, 1864 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
12 Joseph Barnes August 18, 1864–June 30, 1882 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
    June 30, 1882–July 3, 1882  
13 Charles H. Crane July 3, 1882–October 10, 1883 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
14 Robert Murray October 10, 1883–August 6, 1886 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
    August 6, 1886–November 18, 1886  
15 John Moore November 18, 1886–16 August 1890 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
16 Jedediah Hyde Baxter August 16, 1890–December 4, 1890 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
    December 4, 1890–December 23, 1890  
17 Charles Sutherland December 23, 1890–May 30, 1893 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
18 George Miller Sternberg May 30, 1893– June 8, 1902 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
19 William H. Forwood June 8, 1902– September 7, 1902 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
20 Robert Maitland O'Reilly September 7, 1902–January 14, 1909 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
21 George H. Torney January 14, 1909–December 27, 1913 Army-USA-OF-06.svg Brigadier General
22 William C. Gorgas January 1914–1918 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
23 Merritte W. Ireland October 4, 1918–May 31, 1931 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
24 Robert U. Patterson 1931–1935 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
25 Charles R. Reynolds 1935–1939 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
26 James C. Magee June 1, 1939–May 31, 1943 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
27 Norman T. Kirk 1943–1947 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
28 Raymond W. Bliss 1947–1951 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
29 George E. Armstrong 1951–1955 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
30 Silas B. Hays 1955–June 1959 Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General
31 Leonard D. Heaton June 1959–1969 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
32 Hal B. Jennings 1969–October 1973 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
33 Richard R. Taylor October 1973–1977 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
34 Charles C. Pixley 1977–1981 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
35 Bernhard T. Mittemeyer 1981–1985 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
36 Quinn H. Becker 1985–1988 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
37 Frank F. Ledford Jr. 1988–1992 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
38 Alcide M. Lanoue 1992–October 1996 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
39 Ronald R. Blanck October 1996– September 22, 2000 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
40 James Peake September 22, 2000 – July 8, 2004 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
    July 8, 2004 – September 30, 2004  
41 Kevin C. Kiley September 30, 2004–March 12, 2007 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General (retired as Army-USA-OF-07.svg Major General)
    March 12, 2007–December 11, 2007  
42 Eric Schoomaker December 11, 2007–December 5, 2011 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
43 Patricia Horoho December 5, 2011–December 3, 2015 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
    December 3, 2015–December 11, 2015  
44 Nadja West December 11, 2015–July 19, 2019 Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General
    July 19, 2019–October 17, 2019  
45 R. Scott Dingle October 17, 2019–present Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General

Agencies, centers, offices, and programs within the OTSG

See also

Library and Museum of the OTSG, Washington, D.C.; Hand-colored photo, 1887.

Further reading

  • Heitman, Francis B. (Francis Bernard) (1903). Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army : from its organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903. 1. Washington, D. C.: Govt. Print. Off. hdl:2027/mdp.39015008097027. LCCN 03023852. OCLC 558132723 – via Free eBook from the Internet Archive. Lay summaryFamilySearch (October 17, 2015).
  • Heitman, Francis B. (Francis Bernard) (1903). Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army : from its organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903. 2. Washington, D.C.: Govt. Print. Off. hdl:2027/mdp.39015008097035. OCLC 1062849539 – via Free eBook from the Internet Archive.

References and notes

  • Heitman, Francis B. (1903), Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903; Washington, DC: Government Printing Office; 2 vol. (Vol. 1, pp 41-42 details the Medical Department.)

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
LTG Nadja West
Surgeon General of the United States Army, LTG Scott Dingle
October 17, 2019 - present
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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