Flight Surgery

Blue Angels Flight Surgeon Position

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Do you have what it takes to be the BEST?   Do you enjoy travel and an opportunity to join an elite team that you will be part of for the rest of your life?  Are the walls of the hospital closing in on you and wish you could fly off into the blue sky?  Do you FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED?

If you are a former flight surgeon, you are being called to join the Blue Angels!  We need a highly qualified physician and flight surgeon.  This is your time!  Do something unique that you will never be able to do again, clinic will always be waiting for you.  Time is of the essence so please review the NAVADMIN and talk to your Specialty Leader and detailer.  Apply now!

Asst. Specialty Leader for Aerospace Medicine and Flight Surgery – O4/O5

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We are soliciting applications for Assistant Specialty Leader (ASL) for Aerospace Medicine and Flight Surgery to assist in management and oversight of a community of over 270 aviation medicine physicians and previous flight surgeons.  The ASL will work closely with the SL (CAPT(s) Robert “Biff” Krause) to manage the two communities as we move through the transition to Operational Medical Officer’s.  You will liaise with the SL, detailer, residency program director, NAMI, TYCOMs, MAW Surgeons, and BUMED to ensure the community is on track to meet the mission of the Naval Aviation Enterprise and BUMED.  Candidates should be board certified in Aerospace Medicine and O4-O5 in rank. 

Please email LCDR Eng-Kulawy (contact in the global) by COB 1 OCT 2021 with a CV, Bio, PDFs of your Officer Summary Record (OSR) and Performance Summary Record (PSR), and a letter of intent indicating your desire for selection, prior operational experience, as well as several sentences explaining your desire to fill this role.  There are no geographic limitations as the ASL role is a collateral duty.  Please contact the current SL if you have any questions about the role of Assistant SL.

New Operational Medical Officer (OMO) Instruction is Out – You Now Apply for Flight, Dive, FMF, and Surface

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BLUF – Officers will now not only apply for Flight Surgery or Undersea Medicine, but also Fleet Marine Force and Surface.

Attached is the new instruction that governs application for Operational Medical Officer (OMO) positions:

The old version only mentioned Flight Surgery (FS) and Undersea Medicine (UMO), but this one adds Surface and Fleet Marine Force (FMF), all under the banner of OMO. In addition, it creates the Undersea Medical Examiner, similar to the Aviation Medical Examiner, so that anyone who can’t complete UMO training has a landing spot if they can’t complete UMO training, similar to Flight. This is all part of our 5-year transition to straight-through GME, which will kick off at the next GME Selection Board, and residency trained physicians in support of the Fleet.

Anyone interested in this should read the instruction in its entirety as it is a complete re-write. Finally, anyone interested in applying for Surface or FMF opportunities in FY22 who does not already have that experience will be applying to a selection board like Flight and Dive always have. No longer do these simply go through the GMO Detailer.

If there are any questions after reading the instruction, please contact the POCs in the instruction or me.

Why Didn’t More GMOs, UMOs, and Flight Surgeons Promote to O4?

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I’ve been asked this question multiple times since the FY21 LCDR promotion board stats came out. Many looking at the stats noticed these facts:

  • The overall in-zone promotion rate was 83.19%.
  • The rate for GMOs, UMOs, and Flight Surgeons were all lower than this:
    • GMO – 66.67%
    • UMO – 40%
    • Flight Surgery – 42.86%

This seems to argue against the recent advice to “go operational” to successfully compete for promotion. What gives? The following is my best guess, and it is a guess. I was not on the board, and if I was I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.

Let’s look at the typical career path for a Medical Corps LT who does GMO, UMO, or Flight Surgery:

  • Year 0 – Graduate from medical school and put on LT.
  • Year 1 – Finish internship and go GMO, UMO, or Flight Surgery.
  • Years 2-4 – Do a 2-3 year operational tour.
  • Years 3-4 – Match in a residency program.
  • Year 5 – You are in-zone for LCDR.

If in year 5 you are still a GMO, UMO, or Flight Surgeon, you probably haven’t matched in a residency either because you can’t or you’ve chosen to pay back the 3-4 years you owe the Navy and get out. In the latter case, you may have approved resignation orders in the system, which the promotion board will see on your record.

This timeline is obviously not applicable to anyone with prior service, entry-grade credit, or an abnormal promotion timeline, but it is applicable to the majority of Medical Corps LTs. For example, I did internship, 1 year as a GMO, 3 years of residency, and then was picked on-time/in-zone for LCDR, which I put on as a staff Emergency Physician. Back in the day, I showed up in the stats under Emergency Medicine. Anyone in a residency will show up under their specialty’s statistics.

Bottom Line – Why didn’t more GMOs, UMOs, and Flight Surgeons promote to LCDR?

Again, this is just a guess, but if you are in an operational billet your 5th year you either can’t match in a residency or are getting out, both of which do not portend well for promotion.

Takeaway – Your primary job and career goal as a LT is to match in a residency program that will lead to board certification. You can always “go operational” later. Spending too much time in the operational setting can lead to difficulties promoting.

Aerospace Medicine Program Director and NAMI Academics Director

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Please see the announcement below from the Flight Surgery Specialty Leader:


I know a few of you have already talked to me or have asked about both the Program Director for the Aerospace Medicine Residency as well as the NAMI Academics Director for the flight surgeon program. The PD billet typically come with an extended set of orders, although they may be only written for 3 years, 5-6 years is not atypical. The Academics Director job is typically a 3-4 year billet. I lay this out so you know what you are getting yourselves into and understand this is not a 2 years and then retire plan. There is a small number of you that are eligible for these positions and this e-mail is directed at you, but I will be sending the announcement to the Corps Chief’s Office as well. There may be some interest outside of AMS for the Academics Director position, but that individual will need to have been active in flight surgery recently. The PD job obviously requires you to be board certified is Aerospace Medicine, so if you are not currently BC, then you need to sit for your boards in OCT and pass them. Research, leadership positions and the breadth of your experience will also factor into your application.

The application will include your biography, CV and a separate personal statement for each position. For each position, address you’re your motivation to assume that job and what your vision for the program is over a 5 and 10 year period. I know you will not be there for 10 years, but what do you want the program to look like in the future. How will increased UAV usage effect training? What about the gradual conversion of “GMO/OMO”’s to board certified physicians. How would that impact Flight Surgery Training? How would straight through training effect the RAM and what would that internship look like? These are some real questions that may need to be addressed during your time in the seat. Please keep this to 1-2 pages.

We will have a board to review the applications who will then select the next PD and Academics Director. The board will consist of the NAMI OIC, the incumbent, myself .and former TYCOM surgeons.

I know everyone is under different stresses, depending on their current billet, but please send me you applicant packages NLT 18 September. The intent is to have a decision made by October, so turnover plans can begin and the incoming PD and Academics Director can participate in resident selection as well as flight surgeon selection.

Please note this date is different than what I have on the announcement, since I did not get this out yesterday as expected.




Robert J. “Biff” Krause, MD, MPH, CIME


Aerosapce Medicine Analyst

Naval Safety Center (Code 14A)

Specialty Leader, Aerospace Medicine and Flight Surgery

Modified Dates for Flight and Dive Application to Align with GME Dates

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Please see the message below that better aligns the application timeline for Undersea Medicine and Flight Surgery due to the COVID-altered GME timeline. Summary…Flight and Dive applicants will find out if they were selected the same date as they will for GME (6 JAN 2021) and have 2 weeks to accept/decline on the same day they do that for GME (20 JAN 2021).





RMKS/1. This ALNAV announces a modification to BUMEDINST 1520.42A to align with BUMEDNOTE 1524, which describes the COVID-19 altered timeline for Graduate Medical Education Application. Undersea Medicine (UM) and Aerospace Medicine (AM) Officer candidate application due dates are now the same as set-forth in the BUMEDNOTE 1524. Specifically, the updated deadline for acceptance/declination is 20 JAN 2021.

2. Mission. Align deadlines for Navy graduate medical education selection program, Undersea Medical Officer and Aerospace Medical Officer programs.

3. Policy. This ALNAV applies to all uniformed military Navy and Marine Corps personnel submitting an UM or AM Officer Candidate application during the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021.

4. Point of Contact. Please direct all questions to CAPT Joel Schofer, Deputy Chief, Medical Corps / UM Specialty Leader, joel.m.schofer.mil@mail.mil, (703) 681-8917; CAPT Mucciarone, UM Specialty Leader, james.mucciarone@navy.mil, (808) 473-5789; or CDR Robert Krause, AM Specialty Leader, robert.j.krause.mil@mail.mil, (757) 444-3520.

5. Released by RADM Bruce L. Gillingham, Surgeon General, U.S. Navy.


Opportunities to Go Operational with Flight Surgery or Undersea Medicine

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The missing piece in people’s records, and an increased focus in Navy Medicine, is often operational experience. Residency trained physicians DO NOT need to apply through the GME Selection Board to join the ranks of Flight Surgery or Undersea Medicine. Here are messages from those Specialty Leaders that tell people how to inquire about opportunities…


Undersea Medicine


The Undersea Medical Community has over 100 billets. Approximately 1/3 of the billets turnover every year. In addition to the billets for Lieutenants, there are many opportunities for Lieutenant Commanders, Commanders and Captains. There are billets with operational units, at research commands, and in BSO-18 facilities; CONUS and overseas.

If you are interested in an experience that is truly unique to Navy Medicine, please contact the Undersea Medicine

Specialty Leader.


James J. Mucciarone, MD, CPE


Undersea Medicine Specialty Leader

james dot mucciarone < at > navy dot mil


Flight Surgery

For those individuals with previous experience as a Flight Surgeon, there are opportunities to return to the Fleet in an operational capacity. Job opportunities for senior officer’s with the USMC as a MAG Surgeon will be available and unaccompanied overseas tours typically come up yearly. Positions as a SMO on an aircraft carrier are possible on a case by case basis for non-Aerospace trained physicians who meet requirements

For those who have not been a Flight Surgeon, the training program is still open to those who physically qualify. Flight Surgery training in Pensacola for 6 months would be followed by a Fleet tour with the USMC or Navy. More information can be found on the NMOTC Website:


Please contact me if you have any questions.

CDR Robert J. Krause, MD, MPH, CIME

Specialty Leader – Aerospace Medicine and Flight Surgery

SMO < at > CVN74 dot navy dot mil