Retired Aug. 1, 1988.
Lieutenant General (Dr.) Murphy A. Chesney is surgeon general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1927, and graduated from Central High School near Knoxville in May 1945. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from September 1945 to March 1947 in an accelerated premedical program and graduated with a bachelor of science degree. He earned his doctor of medicine degree in June 1950 from the University of Tennessee's College of Medicine in Memphis.
In June 1951 he completed his internship at the Scott and White Hospital, Temple, Texas, and entered private practice as a surgeon and general practitioner at the Edgar Renegar Clinic in Levelland, Texas. A year later he moved to Rule, Texas, where he was associated with Dr. Robert E. Colbert in the Rule Clinic. While residing there he was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce.
General Chesney entered the U.S. Air Force in April 1955, attended the basic orientation course at Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., and later the primary course in aviation medicine at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. In July 1955 he was assigned to the dispensary at Portland International Airport, first as flight surgeon and then as commander. He continued to serve as commander when the dispensary became a hospital.
From July 1957 to June 1960, General Chesney was at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he completed his Air Force-sponsored residency in internal medicine. During his last year of residency he was appointed chief resident and was involved in several research papers and projects. He also served as a university instructor from July 1959 to June 1960. For the next two years he was assigned as chief of hospital services and chief of the Department of Internal Medicine at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla.
In May 1962 he transferred to the dispensary at Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco, as commander. He moved to the 401st Tactical Hospital, Torrejon Air Base, Spain, in June 1963 and became deputy commander and senior internist.
General Chesney returned to the United States in June 1966 and assumed command of the 852nd Medical Group at Castle Air Force Base, Calif. He become director of professional services in the Office of the Command Surgeon, Pacific Air Forces, in August 1969 and deputy command surgeon in June 1972. While there his duties included supervision of the professional medical care of patients, including combat-injured personnel, intratheater aeromedical evacuation, flight medicine, preventive medicine and bioenvironmental engineering, medical aspects of the drug abuse program and the prisoner of war release program.
In April 1973 General Chesney transferred to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as command surgeon. He moved to Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1978 where he was commander of the Air Force Medical Service Center. The general was director of medical plans and resources, Office of the Surgeon General, at Air Force headquarters, from January 1980 until April 1980. He served as deputy surgeon general from May 1980 until assuming his present position in August 1985.
General Chesney is a member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Bexar County Medical Society, Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces, fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association as of April 1986, Society of Air Force Physicians, Society of Air Force Flight Surgeons, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, American Academy of Medical Directors, American College of Physician Executives and Phi Rho Sigma. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine. He currently serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Board of Fellows, Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.
He holds the aeronautical rating of chief flight surgeon. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Spanish Air Force Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 1, 1985, with same date of rank.