COL Russ S. Kotwal, MD, MPH, USA

Hero of Military Medicine

COL Kotwal is recognized for wide-ranging excellence in military medicine. He has spearheaded several life-saving initiatives within the Special Operations medical community, including the Pre-Hospital Trauma Registry. He is a long-standing committee member of the DoD Defense Health Board committee on tactical combat casualty care, where he provides national-level guidance as an expert in his field.

COL Russ Kotwal has been in the U.S. Army for 27 years. He currently serves as the Deputy Command Surgeon for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Texas A&M University (1985), a Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (1996), and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (2004). COL Kotwal has completed residency training in both Family Medicine at Martin Army Community Hospital (1996-1999) and Aerospace Medicine at the Naval Operational Medicine Institute (2003-2005). He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

His operational assignments include four years with the 25th Infantry Division, nine years with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and two years with the U.S Army Special Operations Command. He has deployed to combat twelve times with the Rangers, nine times to Afghanistan and three to Iraq. He has conducted hundreds of combat ground and air missions as the senior medical provider for which he has received five Bronze Star medals, two Joint Service Commendation medals for valor, and two combat jump stars.

Other awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, and four Army Achievement Medals. Other recognitions include that of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine, Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Medical Association Award for Lifetime Achievement, Order of Military Medical Merit, and Infantry Order of Saint Maurice.

COL Kotwal is also a master parachutist and master flight surgeon. He is credited with numerous novel training and technology initiatives, professional publications, and national and international presentations related primarily to prehospital medicine on the battlefield. COL Kotwal is an adjunct professor for both the Texas A&M Health Science Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and he is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense Health Board Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

COL Kotwal has also been married to his wife Bari for 27 years. She is a Human Factors Engineer currently working at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Together they have three children, Ash (26), Aaron (23), and Kirstyn (22).