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Photo Charles Pixley

Surgeons General

CHARLES CALVIN PIXLEY (8 August 1923-31 December 2005), Surgeon General, 1 October 1977 - 30 September 1981, was born in Grants Pass, Oregon.  He earned his M.D. degree from the University of Oregon and completed an M.S. degree in surgery at Baylor University. He received a commission as a 1st lieutenant in the Army Reserve on 20 January 1947 and was integrated into the Regular Army in that grade on 4 September 1948.

He completed his residency in surgery at Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, Pennsylvania, from November 1948 to September 1949 after which he completed a special course in orthopedic surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons until November 1949 when he was promoted to Captain.  He was then assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center for a one-year residency in general surgery as off 1 January 1950. In March 1950, he was ordered to the Ryukyus Command in Okinawa on a special 90-day temporary duty assignment to help relieve the shortage of medical officers in the Far East Command.  In May the TDY was extended to 150 days.  He returned to Brooke AMC in November 1950 and resumed his residency in surgery on 1 January 1951. He remained at Brooke for the next 3 years, first as senior resident in general surgery until 31 December 1952 and then as chief resident in general surgery until 31 December 1953.

In February 1954, Jennings was transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, and assigned to the U.S. Army Hospital.  While at Fort Benning, he was promoted to Major in April 1954. He was then assigned to the Office of The Surgeon General from November 1954 until July 1958 when he moved to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to attend the Officers' Advanced Course at the Medical Field Service School.  Then he completed the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine and the Army Aviation Medical Orientation Course at the U.S. Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama, before serving at year in Korea.  He then attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from July 1960 to July 1961.  He was promoted to Lt. Colonel in May 1961.  In July 1961, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Lee, Virginia, and remained there until July 1963 when he moved to the Office of The Surgeon General to become the chief of the Medical Corps Branch, Directorate of Personnel and Training.

From August 1965 to July 1966, he studied at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, before going to Vietnam in July 1966 to command the 68th Medical Group for a year. He was promoted to Colonel in September 1966.  He returned from Asia in June 1967 to become for three years the commanding officer of the Army Medical Training Center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. He left there in April 1970 for assignment to Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland where he served as First Army Surgeon. While there, he was promoted to brigadier general on 1 November 1972. He moved back to The Surgeon General's Office in February 1973 where he spent a month in its Supply and Operations Branch before becoming Director of Health Care Operations until August 1975. He next served as commanding general of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas where he was promoted to major general on 1 September 1976. General Pixley left El Paso in December for Ft. Sam Houston, Texas where he became the superintendent of the Army Academy of Health Sciences, serving there for a year prior to his appointment as The Surgeon General.

General Pixley’s military awards include three Legion of Merits and three Army Commendation Medals. He also earned the Parachutist and Senior Flight Surgeon Badges.

Source:     Office of Medical History, Office of The Surgeon General, Biographical File.