Retired Aug. 1, 1992.
Brigadier General Michael J. Torma is the command surgeon, Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He is responsible for advising the commander in chief, Strategic Air Command, on all medical matters and directing command medical programs, including the oversight of all SAC medical units.
General Torma was born in 1942, in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and graduated from Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Ga., in 1960. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology and philosophy from Rockhurst College in 1964 and a doctorate of medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, in 1968.
The general began his military career in September 1967 as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Senior Medical Student program. From May 1968 to July 1973 he was assigned to Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where he served, successively, as surgery intern, resident in general surgery and as chief resident in general surgery. In July 1973 he entered a one-year research fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.
From July 1974 to June 1976 General Torma was assigned to Clark Air Base, Philippines, first as chief of general surgery and then as chief of the department of surgery. Additional duties included heading the intensive care unit and emergency services. During this tour of duty, he served as senior clinical surgeon for the Mayaguez rescue, Operation Baby Lift, and the C-5 crash survivors in Saigon, South Vietnam.
General Torma then was assigned to the USAF Medical Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., from June 1976 to June 1983. He served, successively, as chief of general surgery and training officer for the general surgery residency; chairman of the department of surgery and program director of the general surgery residency; and chairman of the division of surgery. While at Keesler the general established the Air Force's general thoracic surgery fellowship and initiated the medical center's open heart surgery program.
From June 1983 to June 1985 General Torma served as director of base medical services, USAF Regional Hospital, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. During his assignment the hospital was awarded the Towner Trophy as the best medical facility in Strategic Air Command for 1984.
He next served as commander of the USAF Medical Center, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The center was recognized as Military Airlift Command's best medical treatment facility for 1987. In May 1988 he was assigned as chief of the Quality Assurance Division, Office of the Surgeon General, Boiling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. In June 1989 he became director of professional affairs and quality assurance, Office of the Surgeon General. He assumed his present duties in May 1990.
General Torma is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a clinical professor of surgery with the Uniformed Services University of Health Science. He is also senior consultant to the Air Force surgeon general for general surgery. The general is a graduate of the Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives and a member of the American College of Physician Executives, the Aerospace Medical Association and the Flying Physicians Association. He has authored or presented more than 90 scientific works and is the inventor of a stomach procedure that bears his name. He is a member of numerous prestigious medical associations, and has served as president of the Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons. In 1988 he was cited in International Leaders in Achievement, International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England.
The general is a command flight surgeon. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal with three service stars.
He was promoted to brigadier general June 1, 1989, with same date of rank.