Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M. DeLellis, USA

Hero of Military Medicine Honoree

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M. DeLellis, a 2019 Hero of Military Medicine honoree, serves as the Deputy Command Surgeon for the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He decided he wanted to join the Army while a student at the University of Louisville, facing the realities of college tuition. He believed the military could help him complete his education. 

His entrance into medicine was sealed before that, by his high school anatomy class. He found the human body so interesting, he couldn’t imagine studying anything else. 

And study he did, matriculating through the University of Nebraska College of Medicine; Helms Medical Institute; and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine Society. His extensive military education includes everything from Ranger and Jumpmaster School to the Special Forces Qualification Course. 

DeLellis believes in the crossroad that intersects medicine—that both the military and civilians provide an opportunity for health care providers to learn from one another in a fast-paced and ever-changing landscape. While the nature of the military’s structure may make it less nimble than the civilian community in the face of evolving technology, military medicine stands to gain much in technology through military and civilian partnering, he said. 

In accepting the Hero of Military Medicine award recognition, DeLellis shares the honor with his comrades and colleagues. 

“No one works alone in the military,” he said. “Every function, every effort, every accomplishment is a team effort. Likewise, every accolade is team recognition. This is recognition of so many soldiers that have worked so hard to ensure that the next generation of warfighters will be more capable, effective, efficient and better cared for.” 


LTC DeLellis serves as the Deputy Command Surgeon for the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Fort Bragg, NC. He entered active duty as a Private in 1983. After successful completion of Basic Training, Infantry AIT, and Airborne School at Fort Benning, he served as an Infantryman, Team Leader, Squad Leader, and Battalion Assistant Operations Sergeant for the 1st Bn. 75th Rangers at Hunter AAF, Ga. From 1988 to 1998 LTC DeLellis served as a Team Member and Team Leader in the Army’s Special Missions Unit at Fort Bragg, NC.

Upon graduating from PA School, LTC DeLellis served as the Battalion PA for 3rd Bn. 325th Infantry, 82nd Airborne division, and the Battalion PA for 3rd Bn. 3rd  Special Forces Group. From 2004 to 2014 he served as a Squadron PA, Family Medicine Clinic Supervisor, and Deputy Surgeon for the Army’s Special Missions Unit. LTC DeLellis served briefly as the Deputy Surgeon for the XVIII Airborne Corps before moving back to USASOC as the Chief of Medical Training and the Deputy Command Surgeon.

LTC DeLellis’ military education includes Ranger School, Jumpmaster school, Military Freefall School, Military Freefall Jumpmaster School, the Special Forces Qualification Course as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D), High-Risk SERE, IPAP, Emergency Medicine Basic Skills course, Medical Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties course, and Intermediate Level Education (ILE) for AMEDD Officers. LTC DeLellis was selected as an AMEDD Iron Major in 2012.

LTC DeLellis’ awards and decorations include the Expert Field Medical Badge, Combat Medic Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Master Freefall Parachutist Badge, President’s Hundred Tab, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Steve has proudly served in Operation Just Cause, Panama, Operation Gothic Serpent, Mogadishu, Somalia, Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti, Operation Deliberate Force, The Balkans, US Embassy Duty, Manila, Philippines, and has participated in eleven rotations in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.