Courtesy of the U.S. Navy
Rear Admiral Jerrold M. Michael

Jewish Generals and Admirals in America's Military

Rear Admiral Jerrold M. Michael:
Assistant Surgeon General

by Seymour “Sy” Brody
(Below is the official U.S. Public Health Service resume of Rear Admiral Jerrold M. Michael, USPHS (ret.).

Jerrold Mark Michael was born in 1927 in Richmond, Virginia. Upon graduation from high school in Washington, D.C. he enlisted in the US Navy and served as a Hospital Corpsman at the end of World War II. On March 17, 1951 he married Lynn Simon in Washington, D.C.

Following a 20-year career in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service, Jerrold Michael served for 25 years as Professor of Public Heath and for the majority of that time, as Dean of the School of Public Heath at the University of Hawaii and subsequently for eleven years as a Professor of Global Health at the George Washington University.

Jerrold “Jerry” Michael began his Commissioned Corps career in June of 1950 as an Ensign assigned by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of a Polio research project in Arizona. In 1951 he was detailed to serve as the Deputy Director of the Phoenix, Arizona Public Health Department until November 1953. From December 1953 to August 1959, he served as an instructor in the engineering and community health training activities of CDC in Atlanta. In 1959 he was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he served until September 1962 as head of the national training activities for the PHS emergency health mobilization program under the Office of the Surgeon General. From 1962 to 1966 he was the chief of training and then became the Chief of Staff for the Division of Indian Health, Bureau of Medical Services where among other duties he was responsible for preparing construction planning guidelines and design criteria for Indian hospitals. In 1966 Jerry Michael was assigned to the Bureau of Medical Services and its replacement, the Bureau of Health Services, where he helped manage a variety of public health programs. Upon his assignment to serve as Assistant Director of the Bureau he was promoted to Assistant Surgeon General with the Commissioned Corp rank of Rear Admiral (RADM). He subsequently served as Assistant Director of the Consumer Protection and Environmental Health Service. He retired from the Corps in January of 1971 to begin his academic career at the University of Hawaii.

RADM Michael is a registered Professional Engineer and a Diplomate in Environmental Engineering. He graduated from the George Washington University (Civil Engineering - 1949); the Johns Hopkins University (Sanitary Engineering - 1950) and the University of California (Masters in Public Health - 1957). He also holds a Doctor of Public Health Degree from Mahidol University in Thailand and the degree of Doctor of Science from Tulane University.

RADM Michael currently serves as Emeritus Professor of Public Health at the University of Hawaii and since 1995, as an adjunct professor of global health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C. He is a visiting professor at Mahidol University in Thailand and the Beijing Medical University in China. In May of 1985, in ceremonies in Israel, a chair in public health in his name was dedicated at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In December of 1987 the Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Elephant was conferred upon him by the King of Thailand for his work in enhancing the health of the people of South East Asia. In 1989 he was awarded the Sang Kancil Gold Medal by the government of Malaysia for his work on academic excellence in that country. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has awarded him the Magnes Medal for his work in health services management and international public health. He serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization and the China Medical Board.

A prolific writer, RADM Michael is recognized for his work in health policy analysis and the politics of health, comparative health systems, global health, health management, health leadership and academic management. He holds a number of awards and honors, including the Walter Mangold Award of the National Environmental Health Association and the John Shaw Billings Award of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He also has been awarded the PHS Meritorious Service Medal and Commendation Medal as well as the Brutsche Award from the USPHS Commissioned Officers Association. For his work with the health programs of the American Indian, he was made an honorary member and tribal leader of the Chippewa Indian tribe. On June 9, 2005, the Surgeon General of the United States presented him with the Surgeon General’s Medallion for a life time of service to the Nation in the field of Global Health.

RADM Michael is past President of the U.S. Association of Schools of Public Health; past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kuakini Health System in Honolulu and the Hawaii Health Coordinating Council and past member of the Hawaii State Board of Health. He is a founding member of the 35-nation, Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health and past vice president of the World Federation of Associations of Academic Public Health.

RADM Michael is an life member of the American Public Health Association, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, the American Academy of Sanitarians, and the American Academy of Health Administration and is a member of the public health honor society, Delta Omega, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States and a life member of the Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS. He is the founding President of the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health and an active participant in the national public health political process.

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