Colonel (Dr.) Michael J. Higgins is the Command Surgeon, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. He leads a staff of military and civilian health care experts, providing strategic planning, policy assessment and resource management for AETC's 13 medical treatment facilities, employing in excess of 10,000 individuals and serving more than 500,000 beneficiaries. He advises the AETC Commander on all health-related matters, including the transition into the Defense Health Agency. Colonel Higgins also allocates and plans for the use of combined operations and maintenance, military personnel and TRICARE contracts totaling more than $6 billion. He is responsible to the AETC Commander and the Air Force Surgeon General for the education and training of Air Force personnel in all medical career fields.
Colonel Higgins was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy as a distinguished military graduate, earning a degree in Biochemistry. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed a combined residency in Family Medicine and Psychiatry through a joint service program with Malcolm Grow Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Colonel Higgins holds board Certifications in Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Medical Management as a Certified Physician Executive.
Prior to his current position, Colonel Higgins was the Vice Commander, Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, JBSA-Lackland, Texas.
1993 Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1997 Doctor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.
2002 Family Medicine and Psychiatry Residency, National Capital Consortium, Andrews AFB, Md.
2002 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2007 Aerospace Medicine Primary Course
2008 Certified Physician Executive, American College of Physician Executives
2011 Air War College, by correspondence and in-residence equivalency
2013 Federal Healthcare Executive Course, Interagency Institute, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1. July 2002 - January 2003, Staff Psychiatrist and Family Physician, Life Skills Support Center and Family Practice Clinic, 72nd Medical Operations Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
2. January 2003 - July 2005, Family Physician, Deputy Mental Health Flight Commander, Chief of Psychiatry and Deputy Chief of Medical Staff, 72nd Medical Operations Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
3. July 2005 - July 2009, Chief of the Medical Staff, 436th Medical Group, Dover AFB, Del.
4. July 2009 - July 2012, Commander, 48th Surgical Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom
5. August 2012 - March 2013, Chief of Psychiatry and Family Physician, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Staff Officer, San Antonio Military Health System, Texas
6. March 2013 - August 2013, Commander, 455th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron and Chief of Medical Staff, 455th Expeditionary Medical Group, Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
7. September 2013 - June 2015, Chief Operating Officer, San Antonio Military Health System eMSM, San Antonio, Texas
8. June 2015 - June 2016, Commander, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group, Southwest Asia
9. July 2016 - July 2018, Commander, 60th Medical Group, Travis AFB, Calif
10. July 2018 - July 2019, Vice Commander, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
11. July 2019 - June 2020, Vice Commander, Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
12. June 2020 - Present, AETC Command Surgeon, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, JBSA-Randolph, Texas
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Department of State Meritorious Honor Award
Order of Military Medical Merit
United States Air Force Academy Leadership Excellence Award, 1993
National Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Resident Teacher Award, 2002
Air Force Material Command Clinical Excellence Award, Field Grade, 2004
AMC Selectee for Paul Myers Physician Award, 2008
AMP Distinguished Graduate and Leadership Award, 2008
USAFE Selectee for Paul Myers Physician Award, 2010
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 2, 1993
Captain May 15, 1997
Major April 17, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel May 31, 2008
Colonel May 31, 2013
(Current as of July 2020)