By Staff Sgt. William Blankenship, 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 14, 2018
Maj. Gen. John DeGoes took command of the 59th Medical Wing during a ceremony on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, June 14. The 59th MDW is the Air Force's premier healthcare, medical education and research, and readiness wing. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. William Blankenship)
Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, passes the unit guidon to Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes during the 59th Medical Wing’s change of command ceremony June 14 in the old Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. DeGoes, previously the 59th MDW vice commander, replaces Maj. Gen. Bart O. Iddins, who led the Air Force’s largest medical wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma)
Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing commander, addresses the audience after taking command during the June 14 ceremony at the old Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 59th MDW provides superior graduate medical education and training, state-of-the-art research, and first-class global medical readiness. It also serves as the Air Force functional medical command for Joint Base San Antonio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma)
Members of the Air Force’s flagship medical wing witnessed the transfer authority and responsibility from Maj. Gen. Bart Iddins to the new 59th Medical Wing commander, Maj. Gen. John DeGoes during a ceremony on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, June 14.
Air Education and Training Command’s deputy commander, Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington presided over the ceremony and reinforced the wing’s pivotal role DeGoes now champions.
“Your patient focused excellence at the 59th touches everything, from our military to our wounded warriors and our oldest veterans,” Weatherington said. “You ensure our greatest weapons system, which is our people. When you look at General DeGoes’ bio, you see that he is really a ringer for this position. He has extensive combat experience that will serve him well in this command. I can’t think of a finer officer to lead this wing of Warrior Medics.”
DeGoes will be stepping up after serving as the 59th’s vice commander since August 2016. The Boston College graduate, turned chief physician and flight surgeon, will lead the Air Force’s largest medical wing composed of seven groups across the $1.2 billion San Antonio Military Health System, Joint Base San Antonio, supporting more than 240,000 beneficiaries with more than 6,000 military and civilian personnel, residents and students.
“To my entire command team, we are a team and we are going to succeed or fail as a team. I would like us to succeed,” DeGoes said jokingly as he spoke to the 59th MDW personnel in the room. “I look forward to building on the many successes made during General Iddins’ tenure and for us to continue our journey to being a high reliability integrated healthcare organization. There have been many changes here throughout the years, but the one constant has been the innovative spirit and the continuous improvement philosophy of our proud medics. These qualities are needed now more than ever. I personally believe that our partnerships with the Army and other agencies are critical for efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of both healthcare delivery and operational medical outcomes if we are to maintain the direct care system as the primary platform to generating ready medics for the future.”
Before DeGoes came to the leadership team at the 59th, he tallied an extensive resume within the Defense Department’s medical community. He served as the commander of the 99th Medical Group at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the chief executive officer of the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center where he was responsible for the Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs joint venture with a combined eligible user population of over 320,000. He has served as a command surgeon for the Air Force’s Central Command, along with leading the 1st Medical Group at Langley Air Force Base and the 31st Medical Operations Squadron at Aviano Air Base in Italy. DeGoes also served as the chief of the clinical medicine branch for AETC headquarters.
The 59th MDW also fills the most medical mobility commitment, maintaining approximately 1,250 mobility positions. Leading the way in medical education, the wing partners to host 900 residents enrolled in 37 graduate medical education programs, and supports military medical service and medical readiness training for 12,100 students annually at the Medical Education and Training Campus.