Never a Step Backward

Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. James Roudebush hosted an event June 25 in San Antonio to celebrate the Air Force medical service’s 60 years of operations. Since its inception, Roudebush said the medical service has been “an integral part” of the Air Force. “We have changed; we have evolved,” he said, but “we have never taken a step backward and we are eager and able to take every step forward.” Airmen medics, Roudebush noted, have improved the quality of health for aircrew, the aeromedical evacuation process, and the aerobic and cardiovascular components of airmen’s physical fitness as well as having contributed greatly to humanitarian operations and homeland disaster support. As of April, airmen have participated in the aeromedical evacuations of 62,000 patients in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, he said. Roudebush, who has led the service’s medical corps since 2006, is retiring, effective Oct. 1. Replacing him will be his current deputy Maj. Gen. Charles Green, who has received Senate approval for a third star for the new assignment. (San Antonio report by SSgt. Vanessa Young)