Female veterans are moving up the ranks, inside the service – and out. Last December, Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, became the Armyâ€™s 43rd Surgeon General. She succeeds Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, who retired in January 2012. To obtain this post, she was nominated by President Barack Obama, and approved by the U.S. Senate.
“We are dedicated to identifying and caring for those Soldiers who have sustained psychological and physical trauma associated with an Army engaged in a protracted war,” she said, adding that the war fighter does not stand alone.
In a recent ceremony at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Horoho was promoted to lieutenant general and was sworn in as the Armyâ€™s top medical officer.
As Army surgeon general, Horoho is now in charge of one of the largest healthcare systems in the United States. This system is comprised of over 480 facilities and 29 executive agencies, with a yearly budget of $13.5 billion. Horoho will oversee 140,000 military and civilian employees.
The Army surgeon general’s impact, said Odierno, extends far beyond the Army to the national and the international level, collaboration and partnership with other public and private entities on research, standards of practices, national leadership in areas such as brain injury, concussive disorders, mental health promotion and pain management.
Horoho has 28 years of experience and education, and has commanded the Army Nurse Corps since 2008. At that time, she was given an unusual two-grade promotion from colonel to major general.
She earned her bachelorâ€™s degree from the University of North Carolina, and her first masterâ€™s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She also earned a second Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
In her long and varied military career, Hororo also includes these achievements:
- chief nurse and hospital commander of a 500-bed field hospital, 249th General Hospital, Fort Gordon, Ga.;
- assistant branch chief, Army Nurse Corps Branch, United States Total Army Personnel Command, Alexandria, Va.;
- assistant deputy for Healthcare Management Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.;
- deputy commander for nursing and commander of the DeWitt Health Care Network, Fort Belvoir, Va.;
- deputy commander for nursing, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and North Atlantic Regional Medical Command, Washington, D.C.
She also received recognition as one of the top 100 nurses in North Carolina in 1993. And, she was also chosen as Fort Braggâ€™s supervisor of the year at that time. Horoho was also honored by Time Life Publications for her activities at the Pentagon on 9/11.
And though many female veterans continue to make a contribution to this country every day, Horoho will make it her agenda to ensure their health and happiness.