Retired Sep. 30, 1975.
Major General Maxwell Wensel Steel Jr., is the deputy surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force.
General Steel was born in 1918, in Huntingdon, Pa. He received his bachelor of science degree from Haverford College, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1940, and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., in January 1944. While attending Jefferson, he was a member of the Medical Reserve Officer Training Corps and received a Reserve commission as first lieutenant in January 1944. He completed his medical internship at Germantown Hospital at Philadelphia in September 1944.
He entered active military service in November 1944 and was assigned to the Orthopedic Service at the Oliver General Hospital, Augusta, Ga. In February 1945 he was reassigned to the Neurosurgical Service at the McCaw General Hospital Walla Walla, Wash.
Following cessation of World War II, General Steel terminated his active duty service and returned to Philadelphia where in November 1946 he was appointed chief hospital resident at the Memorial Hospital. In September 1947 he began post-graduate training in internal medicine at the Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. In October 1947 he received a Regular commission in the U.S. Army. He was assigned in July 1948 as a resident in internal medicine at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C., which he completed in June 1950.
General Steel transferred to the Air Force in July 1949 and in November 1950 was assigned as chief of medical services at USAF Hospital, Chanute Air Force Base, Ill. In June 1951 he was transferred to Japan and served as chief, medical services, 6110th USAF Hospital, and as consultant in internal medicine to the Far East Air Forces Surgeon.
In December 1953 General Steel was assigned as chief, medical services and professional services, USAF Hospital, March Air Force Base, Calif. In September 1955 he was assigned as chief, medical services, and director of professional Services, USAF Hospital, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
In August 1958 he was reassigned to the USAF Hospital (later renamed Malcolm Grow), Andrews Air Force Base, where he served in various assignments, culminating in his appointment in August 1969 as commander of the Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center and Surgeon of Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force. He became command surgeon, Military Airlift Command in August 1970.
General Steel became deputy surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 1, 1972.
General Steel is a member of the American Medical Association, Society of Air Force Physicians, Aerospace Medical Association, Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons, and an associate member of the American College of Physicians.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Aeronautic Order of Merit (Brazil). In addition, while he was serving as deputy commander and as commander of the Andrews Air Force Base medical facility, this organization was awarded two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.
General Steel was promoted to the grade of major general effective Sept. 1, 1971 with date of rank Nov. 1, 1967.