Lieutenant Colonel (Doctor) Brian Joseph Gavitt, USAF
Hero of Military Medicine Honoree
Lieutenant Colonel (Doctor) Brian Joseph Gavitt, a Hero of Military Medicine Honoree, currently serves as a faculty trauma surgeon and assistant trauma medical director at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and is the medical director for the United States Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Advanced Course at the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills.
Gavitt earned a master’s degree in public health at George Washington University then served as a health policy advisor in the U.S. Senate. In 2004, he left the political capital of the world and headed west to pursue a career as a surgeon, motivated by a desire to impact patients and the system in which their care is delivered. He completed his medical training at Michigan State University, University of California Davis Medical Center and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.
He decided to join the Air Force when he settled on a career in medicine. While deployed to Afghanistan, he was the trauma czar at the military’s busiest Role 3 hospital. What he loves most about providing downrange care is that “it’s all about our wounded warriors.”
Gavitt is honored to be recognized as a Hero of Military Medicine but says the award in no way reflects his work alone. He sees it as a recognition of visionary and supportive leadership and the contribution of his colleagues. And despite being called a hero, he doesn’t take on the complex challenges of caring for those wounded on the battlefield for any glory.
“There’s not a lot of press that happens when things ‘go right’ in downrange military medicine,” he said. To him, “nothing is more satisfying than being able to deliver world-class care in some of the most austere places around the world without having to ever convince an insurance company it’s worth their money. Everything we do is for our patients.”
Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Gavitt currently serves as a faculty trauma surgeon and Assistant
Trauma Medical Director at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, as well as Medical
Director for the United States Air Force Critical Care Air Transport (CCAT) Advanced Course at
the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS), Cincinnati.
Prior to entering a career as a surgeon, Lt Col Gavitt earned his Master’s Degree in Public Health
at the George Washington University in Washington, DC and then served as a health policy
advisor in the United States Senate. While he enjoyed public policy, Lt Col Gavitt ultimately
decided to pursue a career in clinical medicine where he could work both treating individual
patients and improving the health care delivery system. In 2004, he left Washington, DC to
attend medical school at Michigan State University as a USAF Health Professions Scholarship
recipient. After medical school, he completed his surgical residency at University of California
Davis Medical Center followed by trauma and surgical critical care fellowships at Los Angeles
County + USC Medical Center.
In 2016, Lt Col Gavitt was assigned to C-STARS Cincinnati, and deployed to Craig Joint
Theater Hospital at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan as the Trauma Czar in 2017. In this role, Lt
Col Gavitt directed the medical and surgical care provided at the US military’s busiest Role 3
hospital and provided consultative services to US Government and local national medical
facilities, receiving a Bronze Star for his efforts. After returning from Afghanistan, he served as
one of the core CCAT Advanced faculty during the Full Spectrum Medical Readiness (FSMR)
surge, which resulted in a rapid 30% increase in the deployable USAF En Route Critical Care
Lt Col Gavitt serves as a trauma consultant for the 7th Air Force forward surgeon, a member of
the Joint Trauma System’s Committee on Surgical Combat Casualty Care, and as a trauma
subject matter expert for global surgery missions assessing partner nations’ combat casualty care
readiness. He also leads a cadre of instructors teaching the lay public life-saving hemorrhage
control techniques as part of the Stop the Bleed campaign; these efforts have resulted in over
4,000 civilians trained to date in the Southern Ohio region and multiple lives saved.
Lt Col Gavitt has been married to his wife, Gayleen, for 15 years, and together they have three
children. They enjoy spending time with family in California and back in his home state of