COL John Detro currently serves as 187th Medical Battalion Commander at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Fort Sam Houston, Texas and is The Surgeon General’s outgoing PA Consultant.
COL Detro served 9 years as an Enlisted Soldier and as a Combat Medical Specialist. Upon redeployment from Operation Desert Storm, he attended the Tri-Service Cytotechnologist Course. Upon completion of training, he was assigned as an instructor. While assigned to Fort Sam Houston, he was selected for the Brooke Army Medical Center Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year, Fort Sam Houston’s NCO of the Year, and Greater San Antonio Chamber Commerce Volunteer NCO of the Year. In 1995, COL Detro graduated Phase I of the Army PA Program as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. In addition, he won the first US Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Marathon and represented the Armed Forces at the World Military Cross Country Championships. He finished Phase II at Martin Army Community Hospital.
Upon graduation, COL Detro served in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Next, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment deploying to Afghanistan in October 2001. He later deployed with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq. He returned to the Rangers serving as 3rd Ranger Battalion, and later Senior Regimental PA. Following this assignment, he was selected as Squadron PA, Joint Special Operations Command. He then became an instructor at the Interservice PA Program, and later served as the Deputy, Center for Predeployment Medicine. He commanded the 240th Forward Surgical Team (Airborne) and later served as the XVIII Airborne Corps PA and later Task Force Bragg Surgeon. Prior to command, he served as the Deputy and later Chief, Surgical Services Service Line (3SL), Office of the Surgeon General.
COL Detro’s military professional education includes the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Army Orthopedic PA Program, Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Resident Course, Army Ranger School, AMEDD Flight Surgeon Course, Army Parachutist Course, Army Jumpmaster Course, Forward Surgical Team Commanders Course, AMEDD Executive Skills Course, Defense Strategy Course, AMEDD Iron Majors Week and the U.S Army Senior Service College.
COL Detro has earned Master’s in Strategic Studies, Adult Education, and PA Studies, and Bachelor’s in Physician Assistant Studies and Biology/Chemistry. COL Detro has completed 7 combat deployments to Iraq, and Afghanistan. Some of his awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster/Valor device, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (7 OLCs), Army Commendation Medal (7 OLCs with two Valor devices), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (5 OLCs), Presidential Unit Citation, and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. COL Detro has been awarded the Combat Medical Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, Flight Surgeon Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. He is a member of the AMEDD Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3), Order of Saint Maurice, Order of the Combat Spur, and Order of the Purple Heart. He is an Erie Mason High School and Siena Heights University Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and 2007 Siena Heights University Outstanding Alumni.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by LTC Amelia Duran-Stanton, MAJ Patrick Walsh, and COL Detro and was submitted to the Society in September 2017. Photographs are courtesy of COL Detro.
Disclaimer: The authors’ views do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.