Flight Surgeon Badge (United States)

Last updated
US Army Basic Flight Surgeon Badge
Presented by United States Army
EligibilityMembers of the United States Army who are both qualified medical officers and certified flight surgeons
StatusCurrently awarded
Established World War II
First awarded World War II
Last awardedOn going
Army Precedence
Next (higher) Astronaut Device
Next (lower) Diver Badges [1]
US Air Force Basic Flight Surgeon Badge
United States Air Force Flight Surgeon Badge.svg
Presented by United States Air Force
EligibilityMembers of the United States Air Force who are both qualified medical officers and certified flight surgeons
StatusCurrently awarded
Established World War II
First awarded World War II
Last awardedOn going
Air Force Precedence
Next (higher) Chaplain Badges
Equivalent(Group 1 badges)
Astronaut - Aviator - Flight Surgeon - Flight Nurse - Aircrew - Space Operations Badge - Cyberspace Operator Badge
Next (lower)(Group 2 badges)

The Flight Surgeon Badge is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces which has existed to designate Flight Surgeons since the Second World War.

The Flight Surgeon Badge is worn by those members of the military who have completed the individual service requirements for award of the badge. The original Flight Surgeon Badges were awarded by both the Army and Navy during World War II. After WW II, when the USAF became a separate service, they retained the Army Air Force badge, but redesigned it with a smaller caduceus over the central shield (the present pattern). Concurrently, the Army badge was redesigned to the present pattern (along with all other Army Aviation badges).

The Naval Flight Surgeon insignia has gone through several design iterations from the pre-World War II period, to during World War II, to the postwar period and present day. There is no separate Marine Corps Fight Surgeon insignia, as all medical personnel assigned to or supporting Marine Corps units are Navy personnel, and will thus be awarded and wear Navy insignia.

The Coast Guard Flight Surgeon Badge is the same pattern as the USCG Aviator badge, but with a caduceus superimposed over the central shield. Unlike USN and USN medical support of USMC, USCG Flight Surgeons are commissioned corps officers of the U.S. Public Health Service.

To be awarded the Army Basic Flight Surgeon Badge, a service member must be a commissioned officer who is either a physician, Physician Assistant, or ANP (the latter two as of 2011 per Army Regulation 600-8-22) and successfully complete the Army Flight Surgeon Primary Course (AFSPC) at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The AFSPC is a six-week course that includes topics in aviation physiology, Army aviation and aviation medicine regulations, accident investigation, military aviation operations, and aircraft orientations; for several years in the 1980s flight surgeon candidates received actual flight training up to, and including, solo flight in the TH-55 helicopter. A physician who has completed the AFSPC may later elect to apply for the Army Residency in Aerospace Medicine, although some highly qualified fourth year medical students may be selected to enter the program upon graduation.

The Naval Flight Surgeon is conducted at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at NAS Pensacola, Florida. [2] Its curriculum is similar to the Army program, but is 24 weeks in length and includes 10 weeks of flight indoctrination training in the T-6 Texan II, T-45 Goshawk and TH-57 SeaRanger.

The Air Force program consists of three phases, Aerospace Medicine Primary 101, 201, and 202. The Air Force program, in addition to a core curriculum similar to the Army and Navy, includes such topics as Bioenvironmental Engineering and occupational health.

Coast Guard flight surgeons generally attend the Army course followed by a two-week USCG transition course.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force also offer residency programs in Aerospace Medicine, located at Fort Rucker, AL, NAS Pensacola, and Wright-Patterson AFB, respectively.

The United States Army and United States Air Force issue the Flight Surgeon Badge in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Master (Army)/Chief (Air Force). The Basic Flight Surgeon Badge is presented upon completion of initial flight surgeon qualifications, while the Senior and Master versions of the badge are presented based on years of service and number of flight hours performed as a flight surgeon. Per Army Regulation 600-105, the Army Senior Flight Surgeon Badge may be awarded after five years of duty as a flight surgeon (three if two years were as an Army Aviator) and 400 flight hours, while the Master version may be awarded after ten years of service as a flight surgeon, 850 flight hours, and board certification in Aerospace Medicine. The Senior Flight Surgeon badge is denoted by a star centered above the badge, while the Master and Chief Flight Surgeon badges display a star and wreath (Army) or star and scroll (USAF). USAF requirements for Senior and Chief badges are similar to the Army requirements. The United States Navy and Coast Guard issue Flight Surgeon Badges in a single degree.

In addition to the Flight Surgeon Badge, the United States Navy and Air Force award the Flight Nurse Badge for those nurses qualified in aerospace medicine and in-flight operations. A flight medical specialty badge, the Aviation Psychologist Badge, is an additional decoration awarded by the U.S. Navy. Army psychologists who will serve with, or otherwise support, Army Aviation personnel may be selected to attend the AFSPC, however they may only be awarded the Basic Aircrew Badge upon completion of other requirements for that badge.

See also

Related Research Articles

Flight surgeon Military occupation

A flight surgeon is a military medical officer practicing in the clinical field of aviation medicine. Although the term "flight surgery" is considered improper by purists, it may occasionally be encountered.

United States Astronaut Badge US military award badge for space flight

The United States Astronaut Badge is a badge of the United States, awarded to military and civilian personnel who have completed training and performed a successful spaceflight. A variation of the astronaut badge is also issued to civilians who are employed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as specialists on spaceflight missions. It is the least-awarded qualification badge of the United States military.

Uniform Service Diver Insignia (United States) Qualification badges of the uniformed services of the United States which are awarded to servicemen qualified as divers

The diver insignia are qualification badges of the uniformed services of the United States which are awarded to servicemen qualified as divers. Originally, the diver insignia was a cloth patch decoration worn by United States Navy divers in the upper-portion of the enlisted service uniform's left sleeve during the first part of World War II, when the rating insignia was worn on the right sleeve. When enlisted rating insignia were shifted to the left sleeve in late World War II, the patch shifted to the upper right sleeve. The diving patch was created during World War II, and became a breast insignia in the late 1960s.

Uniform Service Recruiter Badges (United States)

The Recruiter Badge is a decoration of the United States uniformed services that is awarded to personnel who have performed recruitment duties as service recruiters. The Recruiter Badge is issued by every branch of the U.S. uniform services except for the Marine Corps and the NOAA Commissioned Corps. With the exception of the U.S. Army, a Recruiting Service Ribbon is also awarded to those personnel who have completed successful tours as recruiters.

U.S. military instructor badges

The U.S. military issues instructor badges to specially training military personnel who are charged with teaching military recruits the skills they need to perform as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or teach continuing education courses for noncommissioned officers and officers in the military. With the exception of the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard, these badges are considered temporary military decorations and must be surrendered upon completion of one's duty as a military instructor. Because of this, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps award Drill Instructor Ribbons as a permanent decoration to recognize service members who have qualified and performed as military instructors.

United States Aviator Badge US military aviation badge

A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States Armed Forces, those being for Air Force, Army, and Naval aviation.

The Navigator Badge is a military qualification badge of the United States Air Force which was first created during the Second World War. The current USAF badge is designated by Air Force Instructions as the Navigator/Observer Badge and is issued to rated officers in both rating categories. In 2009, it was renamed as the Combat Systems Officer badge.

Flight Nurse Badge

The Flight Nurse Badge is a military badge of the United States armed forces which is issued by the U.S. Air Force and United States Navy to flight nurses. Versions of this badge have existed since World War II, when the decoration was first created as the Army Air Forces Flight Nurse Badge.

Parachutist Badge (United States) Award

The Parachutist Badge, also commonly referred to as "Jump Wings" is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces. The United States Space Force and United States Coast Guard are the only branches that do not award the Parachutist Badge, but their members are authorized to receive the Parachutist Badges of other services in accordance with their prescribed requirements. The DoD military services are all awarded the same Basic Parachutist Badge. The U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force issue the same Senior and Master Parachutist Badges while the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps issue the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Badge to advanced parachutists. The majority of the services earn their Basic Parachutist Badge through the U.S. Army Airborne School.

Medical Corps (United States Navy) United States Navy staff corps of physicians

The Medical Corps of the United States Navy is a staff corps consisting of military physicians in a variety of specialties. It is the senior corps among all staff corps, second in precedence only to line officers. The corps of commissioned officers was founded on March 3, 1871.

Badges of the United States Navy Military badges of the US Navy

Insignias and badges of the United States Navy are military badges issued by the United States Department of the Navy to naval service members who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Navy. Most naval aviation insignia are also permitted for wear on uniforms of the United States Marine Corps.

Badges of the United States Air Force Military badges of the U.S. Air Force

Badges of the United States Air Force are specific uniform paraphernalia authorized by the United States Air Force that signify aeronautical ratings, special skills, career field qualifications, and serve as identification devices for personnel occupying certain assignments.

Obsolete badges of the United States military U.S. military badges no longer in use

Obsolete badges of the United States military are a number of U.S. military insignia which were issued in the 20th and 21st centuries. After World War II many badges were phased out of the United States Armed Forces in favor of more modern military badges which are used today.

Awards and decorations of the Civil Air Patrol Recognitions for members of the United States Air Force Auxilary

The awards and decorations of Civil Air Patrol are "designed to recognize heroism, service, and program achievements" of members of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) of the United States of America. The CAP is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. These awards are made to improve the esprit de corps of members. These awards are all worn in the form of medals or ribbons and all are considered civilian decorations. Civil Air Patrol regulations allow them to only be worn and displayed on appropriate CAP uniforms. In order to be considered for one of these awards, an individual must be a member in good standing of Civil Air Patrol at the time of the act being recognized. There is a statute of limitations for these awards and all recommendations must be submitted within 2 years of the act being performed. It is possible for the next of kin of deceased persons to be presented awards to which a member was entitled, but which he or she did not receive. Award review boards are established at the region, wing, group, and squadron levels to consider recommendations for all awards and decorations.

The Aircrew Badge, commonly known as Wings, is a qualification badge of the United States military that is awarded by all five branches of armed services to personnel who serve as aircrew members on board military aircraft. The badge is intended to recognize the training and qualifications required by aircrew of military aircraft. In order to qualify as an aircrew member and receive the Aircrew Badge, such personnel typically undergo advanced training in aircraft in-flight support roles.

Army Medical Department (United States) Military unit

The Army Medical Department of the U.S. Army (AMEDD), formerly known as the Army Medical Service (AMS), encompasses the Army's six medical Special Branches. It was established as the "Army Hospital" in July of 1775 to coordinate the medical care required by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The AMEDD is led by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, a lieutenant general.

United States Naval Aviator Officer qualified as a manned aircraft pilot in the US Navy or US Marine Corps

A naval aviator is a commissioned officer or warrant officer qualified as a crewed aircraft pilot in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps. While they complete the same undergraduate flight training as Navy and Marine Corps crewed aircraft pilots, and are awarded the same aviation breast insignia, a United States Coast Guard crewed aircraft pilot is officially designated as a "Coast Guard aviator".

U.S. Air Force aeronautical rating Military aviation skill standards

U.S. Air Force aeronautical ratings are military aviation skill standards established and awarded by the United States Air Force for commissioned officers participating in "regular and frequent flight", either aerially or in space, in performance of their duties. USAF aeronautical badges, commonly referred to as "wings" from their shape and their historical legacy, are awarded by the Air Force in recognition of degrees of achievement and experience. Officers earning these badges and maintaining their requirements are classified as rated officers and receive additional pay and allowances.

Warren L. Carpenter Flight surgeon and physician

Warren L. Carpenter was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the Air Force, including serving as the Department of Defense's Chief Medical Officer for military space shuttle missions, flying 297 combat hours, serving as one of six Residents in Aerospace Medicine selected to fly on medical evacuation aircraft to bring home the U.S. prisoners-of-war from North Viet Nam on the final repatriation leg of Operation Homecoming, and earning six Service awards for marksmanship.

In the United States Army (USA), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), U.S. Air Force (USAF), and U.S. Space Force (USSF), captain is a company-grade officer rank, with the pay grade of O-3. It ranks above first lieutenant and below major. It is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy/Coast Guard officer rank system. The insignia for the rank consists of two silver bars, with slight stylized differences between the Army/Air Force version and the Marine Corps version.


  1. Army Regulation 600-8-22 Military Awards (24 June 2013). Table 8-1, U.S. Army Badges and Tabs: Orders of precedence. p. 120 Archived October 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Pages - NAMI". www.med.navy.mil.