Thursday, October 6, 2011
VADM Willard P. Arentzen, Surgeon General (1976-1980)
Willard Palmer Arentzen (1921- ), after joining the Navy, interned at Naval Hospital Chelsea. He then served at sea before being assigned to several naval hospitals. In 1968 he became commanding officer of the medical treatment facility aboard USS Sanctuary operating off Vietnam. Following Vietnam duty, Dr. Arentzen became CO of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and then Naval Hospital, Portsmouth. Following duty as CO of Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego, Dr. Arentzen became Surgeon General. During his term he oversaw studies on the hospital ship construction project, established BUMED's Contingency Planning Division, made major improvements in the Medical Department's training and assignment policies, and organized and supported the Navy's alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs.