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Organizational Histories > Commanders of the U.S. Army Medical Department

Picture of James B. PeakeJAMES B. PEAKE, whose nomination to the position of U.S. Army Surgeon Generalwas confirmed Sept. 7 by the U.S. Senate, will be, when sworn in, the Army's40th Surgeon General to hold this position, which carries with it promotionto the rank of three-star general.

Peake replaces Lt. Gen. Ronald R. Blanck, who retired from active dutyJune 30 after 31 years of service and nearly four years as the Army's "topdoc."

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and former infantry officer,Peake has been serving as acting commander of U.S. Army Medical Command,Fort Sam Houston, Texas, since June 9. Prior to that, he filled a dualposition as commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and Schooland commander of Fort Sam Houston.

A St. Louis, Mo., native, Peake received his bachelor of science degreefrom West Point in 1966 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in theinfantry.

Following service in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Silver Star,a Bronze Star with "V" device and the Purple Heart with oak leafcluster, Peake entered medical school at Cornell University in New York.He was awarded a medical doctorate in 1972.

Peake served as deputy commander of the Army Medical Command for 17months before assuming command of the Center and School and Fort Sam Houston.Prior to moving to Fort Sam Houston, he served as commanding general ofMadigan Army Medical Center and the Northwest Health Service Support Activityin Tacoma, Wash., and commanding general of the 44th Medical Brigade andCorps Surgeon for the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.

He also commanded the 18th Medical Command and the 121st EvacuationHospital in Seoul, Korea, where he also was command surgeon for the 8thArmy. Peake began his Army Medical career as a general surgery residentat Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston.

A board certified thoracic surgeon, Peake is a fellow of the AmericanCollege of Surgeons, a fellow of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and afellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is also a 1988 graduateof the Army War College.

His awards and decorations also include the Superior Service Medal,the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious ServiceMedal with two oak leaf clusters, and an Air Medal. Peake also wears aCombat Infantryman Badge and a Combat Medic Badge.