Retired May 1, 1990.
Major General (Dr.) Thomas P. Ball Jr. is commander, Joint Military Medical Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The command consolidates 7,500 personnel and the medical activities at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; and clinics at Brooks, Kelly and Randolph Air Force bases, Texas.
General Ball was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1932. He graduated from College Park (Ga.) High School and Georgia Military Academy prior to attending The Citadel Military College of South Carolina, where he received his premedical bachelor of science degree in 1954. He earned a doctor of medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1958.
After a rotating internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he graduated from the primary course in aerospace medicine at Brooks Air Force Base and was assigned as chief of aerospace medicine at Dover Air Force Base, Del., from July 1959 to July 1962. During this period, General Ball was instrumental in initiating an extensive study on aircrew fatigue and in the development of medical airlift procedures in support of the Belgian Congo campaign. General Ball then returned to Grady Memorial Hospital for four years of specialized surgical training in urology.
From June 1966 to July 1968 he was assigned as chief of urology, David Grant U.S. Air Force Hospital, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. He then transferred to the Air Force hospital at Wiesbaden Air Base, West Germany, where he served as chief of urology. In June 1973 General Ball became chairman of the department of urology and director of the U.S. Air Force urological residency training at Wilford Hall. In this capacity he wrote more than 30 professional papers and five chapters for leading textbooks in his specialty.
Selected as surgeon of the Air Force Manpower and Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in August 1979, General Ball directed personnel actions affecting virtually every phase of the careers of more than 12,000 members of the Air Force Medical Service. In February 1983 he was assigned to the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton Air Force Base, Calif., as director of medical inspection. In March 1985 he became commander of Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and in June 1986, was assigned as commander of Wilford Hall. He assumed his present command in February 1987.
The general is a chief flight surgeon with more than 850 flying hours. He has 30 years' experience as a licensed pilot, holding both commercial and instrument ratings. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 1961 he was named Military Air Transport Service Flight Surgeon of the Year.
The general is a professor of clinical urology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Science, Bethesda, Md., and a clinical associate professor of urology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas. He is editor-in-chief and chairman of the leading American Urological Association Continuing Education Series, has served as program chairman for the American College of Surgeons, and was recognized nationally when he received the prestigious Russell and Mary Hugh Scott Educational Award from the American Urological Association. He is a past president of the American Urological Association's South Central Section and the Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons. General Ball recently was elected to membership in the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons and is a member of 14 other national and international professional organizations.
He was promoted to major general March 11, 1987, with same date of rank.