Bernhard T. Mittemeyer

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Bernhard T. Mittemeyer
Born (1930-10-30) October 30, 1930 (age 87)
Paramaribo, Surinam (The Netherlands)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1957–1985
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant general
Commands held Surgeon General of the United States Army
Battles/wars Cold War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with V Device (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Combat Medical Badge
Senior Parachutist Badge
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with Three Campaign Stars
Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star (Vietnamese)
Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class (Vietnamese)
Medical Meritorious Award, First Class (Vietnamese)
Other work Chief of urological surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Bernhard Theodore Mittemeyer (born October 30, 1930)[1] is a retired lieutenant general, who served as Surgeon General of the United States Army between 1981 and 1985.[2]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

At age 14, Mittemeyer emigrated to the United States during World War II.

While attending college at Moravian College and medical school at Temple University School of Medicine, he was deferred from the draft. However, after graduation, he was drafted into the Army in 1957. Following initial accession training, he volunteered for the airborne forces since the 101st and 82nd had liberated his home country of the Netherlands during the war. He was assigned to the 101st. After six months, he became the division surgeon for General Westmoreland.

Soon thereafter, however, Mittemeyer announced his resignation to Gen. Westmoreland. When Gen. Westmorland inquired why he was leaving, Mittemeyer pointed out that he was not in the regular army since he was not a citizen. Westmoreland arranged his citizenship so that he could become part of the regular army. Mittemeyer then accepted an Army urological residency. In 1968, he deployed to Vietnam.

During his tenure as Surgeon General of the Army and working in Military District of Washington (MDW), he instituted Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), later adopted by MDW-wide and now simply called Physical Fitness Test (PFT), a set of fitness tests including push-ups, sit-ups, and a timed two-mile run that now applies to all 85,000 military employees of MDW.[3]

After serving as Surgeon General of the Army, he retired on February 28, 1985,[2] and is now the chief of urological surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Awards and decorations[edit]


  1. ^ Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, Cengage Learning. 1980–2011.
  2. ^ a b "RESUME OF SERVICE CAREER of BERNHARD THEODORE MITTEMEYER". Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General. Archived from the original on August 22, 2006. Retrieved March 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ Mary T. Sarnecky. A Contemporary History of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Government Printing Office. pp. 278–. ISBN 978-0-16-086913-6.