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COLONEL JOHN COTTON

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Colonel John Cotton is the Command Surgeon, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He is the senior medical advisor to the Commander, USSTRATCOM, providing guidance on issues concerning disease, illness, human factors, force health protection, CBRN and Directed Energy Weapons issues. He also ensures comprehensive Health Service Support and Force Health Protection are provided for assigned or attached forces during all phases of command operations and deployment.

Prior to assuming his current position, Col. Cotton was the Commander of the 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, as well as the 18th Medical Group Deputy Commander at Kadena Air Base, Japan, where he oversaw the aerospace medicine programs at the largest combat wing in the Air Force and served as the Public Health Emergency Officer for the island of Okinawa.

Col. Cotton received his commission through ROTC from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, as a member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets. He completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, and his family practice residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After serving as a staff family physician and Emergency Services Flight Commander, Col. Cotton attended the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course. He was assigned to the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he completed a Residency in Aerospace Medicine, also serving as a fighter squadron flight surgeon.

Col. Cotton deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as Director of Primary Care. He also deployed as a squadron medical element flight surgeon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as Lead Flight Surgeon in support of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica.

EDUCATION
1991 Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
1996 Doctorate of Medicine Degree, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 1999 Commissioned Officer Training Course, Gunter Annex, Ala., Distinguished Graduate
2000 Combat Casualty Care Course, Camp Bullis, Texas
2005 Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base, Texas, Distinguished Graduate
2010 Master’s degree in Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, Texas
2011 Residency in Aerospace Medicine, United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base, Texas
2018 132nd Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, Bethesda, Md.

ASSIGNMENTS
1. September 1999 - August 2002, Staff Family Physician, 314th Medical Operations Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
2. August 2002 - August 2003, Staff Emergency Physician, 52nd Medical Operations Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
3. August 2003 - July 2005, Flight Commander, Emergency Services, 52nd Medical Operations Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
4. September 2005 - June 2009, Flight Surgeon, 22nd Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
5. June 2009 - June 2010, Resident in Aerospace Medicine, Phase I, University of Texas - Houston School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, Texas
6. July 2010 - June 2011, Resident in Aerospace Medicine, Phase II, United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base, Texas
7. July 2011 - June 2014, Commander, 35th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, 35th Medical Group’s Chief of Aerospace Medicine, Misawa AB, Japan
8. June 2014 - June 2017, Commander, 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, 18th Medical Group Deputy Commander, Kadena AB, Japan
9. July 2017 - present, Command Surgeon, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Nebraska

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Senior Flight Surgeon
Flight hours: 316 hours, 36 combat hours
Aircraft flown: F-16CJ, C-130, KC-135, HH-60, T-6, C-17, C-12, P-3, T-38

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Antarctica Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and oak leaf cluster

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1999 Family Practice Resident of the Year, St. Joseph’s Hospital
2000, 2007, 2014 Diplomate, American Board of Family Medicine
2012 Board Certified, Aerospace Medicine, American Board of Preventive Medicine
2017 AHA Federal Healthcare Excellence Award
Member, American Academy of Family Physicians
Member, Federal Health Care Executives Institute Alumni Association
Member, Society of United States Air Force Flight Surgeons
Member Uniformed Service Academy of Family Physicians
Medical Licenses - Arizona

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Captain Nov. 17, 1995
Major Nov. 17, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 17, 2007
Colonel Nov. 17, 2013

(Current as of January 2019)