August 19, 2004
New surgeon general for Navy takes office
by Ellen Maurer
BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY PAO
WASHINGTON (NNS) – Rear Adm. Donald Arthur became the 35th surgeon general of the Navy in a change-of-office ceremony hosted at the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 4.
The Navy surgeon general is the senior officer for the Navy’s medical and dental communities, leading the naval hospitals and medical and dental clinics worldwide.
Arthur relieves Vice Adm. Michael L. Cowan, who retired after 33 years in the Navy. Cowan has served as the leader of Naval medicine since 2001.
Guest speaker at the ceremony was CNO Adm. Vern Clark, who spoke about the advances made in military medicine to care for today’s warfighters and their family members.
“We will do everything we know how to do … to help you fulfill the promise you have made to the sons and daughters of America who wear the uniform – to provide health care, first effectively, and then efficiently,” Clark said. “We know you are committed to continuing building the foundation of Force Health Protection set in place by [Vice Adm.] Mike Cowan. I have every confidence that you will do an equally superb job.”
Arthur comes to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery from his former position as the commander of the National Naval Medical. He holds a doctor of medicine degree, a Ph.D. in health care management, and a degree in law. Arthur joined the Navy in 1974, and is qualified in flight surgery and undersea medicine, as well as surface warfare medicine, saturation diving medicine and radiation health.
“It is a tremendous honor to be to be part of Navy medicine,” Arthur said. “I pledge to continue the work that Adm. Cowan has begun … so Navy medicine can continue to respond whenever and wherever, against all threats – some of which we cannot combat with traditional methods.
“We must be prepared to predict, prevent and treat those things that might still come to us,” Arthur said. “We will do it as one Navy medicine, active and Reserve. And we will do it as one Department of Defense medical unit that is a seamless, integrated Navy, Army and Air Force medical system.”