Thursday, October 6, 2011
VADM Michael L. Cowan, Surgeon General (2001-2004)
Michael L. Cowan began his Navy career as a General Medical Officer at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1971, and was promoted to flag rank while serving as Commanding Officer at the same hospital 25 years later. On 10 August 2001, VADM Cowan became the 34th Surgeon General of the Navy and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He is considered the “father” of Force Health Protection and his efforts as leader of Navy medicine focused on reshaping fleet hospitals and their resources to make them flexible enough to go on location with today’s war fighters. As Surgeon General, VADM Cowan was known as a strong supporter for more physical fitness programs in DOD school systems, fighting America’s battle with growing child obesity rates. He also helped promote anti-smoking and smokeless tobacco cessation campaigns. Because of his support, Navy health providers focused on preventive medicine measures for Sailors and Marines, ensuring that they are healthy and fit for today’s mission, and tomorrow’s future.