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Maj. Gen. Paul Friedrichs

Joint Staff Surgeon

Maj. Gen. Paul Friedrichs

Major General Paul Friedrichs is the Joint Staff Surgeon at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He provides medical advice to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff and the Combatant Commanders. He coordinates all issues related to health services, to include operational medicine, force health protection and readiness among the combatant commands, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the services.

He led the development and publication of the initial Joint Medical Estimate and serves as medical advisor to the DOD COVID Task Force.

General Friedrichs received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1986 and his Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) from the Uniformed Services University in 1990. He has commanded at the squadron and group level, served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and led joint and interagency teams which earned numerous awards, including “Best Air Force Hospital.” As Chair of the Military Health System’s Joint Task Force on High Reliability Organizations, he oversaw developing a roadmap to continuously improve military health care. As the Command Surgeon for Pacific Air Forces, US Transportation Command and Air Combat Command, General Friedrichs and his teams identified gaps, developed mitigation plans and enhanced readiness for future conflicts and contingencies.

1986 Bachelor of Science, Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
1990 Doctor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
1997 Urologic Surgery Residency, Wilford Hall and Brooke Army Medical Centers, San Antonio, TX
1998 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL
2001 Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, USAFSAM, Brooks AFB, TX
2003 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL
2006 Space Operations Executive Course, National Space Security Institute, Colorado Springs, CO
2006 Interagency Institute for Healthcare Executives, Washington D.C.
2008 National War College, Ft McNair, D.C. (Distinguished Graduate) 2010 Medical Capstone Program, Washington, D.C.
2016 USAF Executive Development Program, University of North Carolina Keenan-Flagler Business School

1. June 1990–June 1991, Surgical Intern, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX
2. July 1991–June 1992, General Medical Officer, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX
3. June 1992–June 1997, Urological Surgery Resident, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX
4. July 1997October 1997, Assistant Chief, Urology, 89th MDG, Andrews AFB, MD

5. November 1997–September 1999, Chief, Urology, 89th MDG, Andrews AFB, MD
6. October 1999–September 2000, Chief, Population Health Management, 89th MDG, Andrews AFB, MD
7. October 2000–July 2001, Analyst, Health Benefits and Policy Division, Office of the Surgeon General, Headquarters Air Force, Bolling AFB, D.C.
8. August 2001–June 2002, Chief, Operations Branch, Office of the Surgeon General, Headquarters Air Force, Bolling AFB, D.C.
9. July 2002–May 2003, Chief, Optimization and Integration Division, Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA), Bolling AFB, D.C.
10. May 2003–May 2005, Commander, 56th Medical Operations Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz. (September 2004–January 2005, Commander, 332 Expeditionary Aeromedical Operations Squadron, Balad AB, Iraq)
11. June 2005–April 2006, Chief, Aeromedical and Clinical Services Branches, HQ Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO
12. May 2006–July 2007, Chief, Medical Operations Division, HQ Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO

13. August 2007–June 2008, Student, National War College, Ft McNair, D.C.
14. August 2008–July 2010, Commander, 3rd Medical Group, 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB, AK
15. July 2010–July 2011, Commander, 673d Medical Group, 673d Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
16. July 2011–July 2014, Command Surgeon, HQ Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI
17. July 2014–June 2016, Vice Commander, AFMOA, Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, TX
18. January 2015–June 2015, Chair, Joint Task Force on High Reliability Organizations, Office of the Assistance Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Washington, D.C.
19. June 2016–July 2018, Command Surgeon, US Transportation Command, Scott AFB, IL
20. July 2018–July 2019 Air Combat Command (ACC), Command Surgeon, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA
21. July 2019–present, Joint Staff Surgeon, the Pentagon, Washington D.C. 

Rating: Senior Flight Surgeon
Flight hours: 294 including 30 combat flying hours
Aircraft: C-17, C-130, C-141, C-21, C-23, KC-135, C-12, UH-60A, and CH-47

Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with 3 Oak-leaf clusters
Bronze Star
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak-leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with 1 Oak-leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 Oak-leaf cluster
Arizona State Guard Meritorious Service Medal 

National Defense University President’s Writing Award
Federal Liaison to the Governor of Alaska’s Health Care Commission
Presidential Citation, American Urological Association 

Diplomat of the American Board of Urology Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
Associate Fellow, Aerospace Medical Association
Alpha Omega Alpha

Second Lieutenant May 17, 1986
Captain May 19, 1990
Major May 19, 1996

Lieutenant Colonel May 19, 2002
Colonel May 29, 2007
Brigadier General June 2, 2018
Major General May 1, 2021


(Current as of June 2021)