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Air Force Medical Service inducts first Senior Executive Service position

  • Published
  • By Kira Baldau
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

A first for the Air Force Medical Service, Stephen M. Mounts was inducted as a Senior Executive Service leader during a January 10 ceremony held at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

As the SES and most senior civilian in the AFMS, Mounts will serve as the Associate Deputy Surgeon General, reporting directly to the Air Force Surgeon General in support of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and the Space Force Chief of Space Operations. He is responsible for AFMS strategy and future concepts, operational medical policy development, congressional and public affairs, and guiding the planning, programming, budgeting and execution of medical personnel and programs in support of Air Force and Space Force missions.

“This is the first [Senior Executive Service] position in the history of the AFMS, and I cannot think of a better person than Stephen Mounts for the role,” said Lt. Gen. Robert I. Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, who led the ceremony with opening remarks. “With what he has done in his Air Force career, we are honored to have him as our SES.”

Prior to his new role, Mounts served over 30 years on active duty as a Medical Service Corps officer. Before his retirement as a Colonel in March 2022, he served as the Deputy to the Assistant Director, Healthcare Administration for the Defense Health Agency.

“I was fortunate in my active duty career to serve in various capacities and enjoyed leadership opportunities at the unit, major command, and headquarters staff levels,” said Mounts. “In my new role, I will be dealing with many of the same challenges I’d faced over the past few years, but I may have more opportunities to influence senior policy decision makers. I am also excited to strengthen our relationships with other agencies and headquarters’ civilian senior executives. Over time, I hope this will provide more continuity on key issues and help speed decisions for the department.”

During the ceremony, the appointment order was read following Miller’s opening comments, after which Mounts was pinned with his insignia and took his oath of office. He was presented with his personal flag and ended the ceremony with closing remarks.

“It is a sincere pleasure to be offered this position,” said Mounts. “With the months I had off after retiring from active duty service and before accepting this job, I reflected on what matters most. One of the things that remained at the top was the AFMS family and taking care of those that defend this country. It is hard to beat that.”

Established in 1978 by Title IV of the Civil Service Reform Act, the stated purpose of the SES was to “ensure that the executive management of the government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the nation and otherwise of the highest quality.” SES members serve just below Presidential appointees and are the primary link between political appointees and the rest of the federal workforce.