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Air Force welcomes new surgeon general

Staff Sergeant Ross Ediger, left, and Zachery Ediger, pin the third star on their father, Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger during the promotion ceremony June 8 at the Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va. General Ediger became the 22nd Air Force Surgeon General during the ceremony, officiated by Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Stock.)

Staff Sergeant Ross Ediger, left, and Zachery Ediger, pin the third star on their father, Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger during the promotion ceremony June 8 at the Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va. General Ediger became the 22nd Air Force Surgeon General during the ceremony, officiated by Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Stock.)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Mark A. Ediger was promoted by Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer, as the 22nd Air Force Surgeon General, in a ceremony today at the Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va.

General Ediger has been the Air Force Deputy Surgeon General since July 2012, and replaces Lt. Gen. 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," said General Spencer 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, 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 Air Force Medical Service, 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 General 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."

From Springfield, Mo., General Ediger earned a Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in 1978, and completed residency in family practice at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1981.   He began his medical career as a rural doctor in Missouri, and then joined the Air Force Reserve at Whiteman AFB, Mo.  General Ediger entered the active duty Air Force in 1985, as chief of family practice for the 1st Medical Group, Langley AFB, Va., and completed residency in aerospace medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, Texas, in 1992.

General 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, MH-53, F-15, T-38 and KC-135.  

In other key transitions within the Office of the Surgeon General, Maj. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, formerly the Director of Medical Operations and Research became Deputy Air Force Surgeon General, effective June 8.  Maj. Gen. Roosevelt Allen, formerly the 79th Medical Wing Commander, Joint Base Andrews, replaces General Hogg.  Brig. Gen. James Burks, formerly Vice Commander, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, takes over as Director of Manpower, Personnel and Resources, replacing Brig. Gen. Charles Potter, who retired May 29 after 30 years of active duty service.
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