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The 2015 Spurgeon Neel Award

Major General Spurgeon H. Neel

Major General (Retired) Spurgeon H. Neel, first Commanding General of Health Services Command

Call For Papers

The Army Medical Department Museum Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 Spurgeon Neel Annual Award competition for a paper of 5,000 words or less that best exemplifies the history, legacy, and traditions of the Army Medical Department.

Named in honor of Major General (Retired) Spurgeon H. Neel, first Commanding General of Health Services Command (now U.S. Army Medical Command), the award competition is open to all federal employees, military and civilian, as well as nongovernmental civilian authors. More information about MG (Ret) Neel can be found at Wiki: Spurgeon Neel.

The AMEDD Museum Foundation will present a special medallion award and a $500 monetary prize to the winner at a Foundation-sponsored event early in 2016. The winning submission will be published in the AMEDD Journal during 2016.

All manuscripts must be submitted to the AMEDD Museum Foundation by September 30, 2015. At the time of submission, a manuscript must be original work and not pending publication in any other periodical. It must conform to the Writing and Submission Guidance of the AMEDD Journal, and must relate to the history, legacy, and/or traditions of the Army Medical Department. Manuscripts will be reviewed and evaluated by a six-member board with representatives from the AMEDD Museum Foundation, the AMEDD Center of History and Heritage, and the AMEDD Journal. The winning manuscript will be selected and announced in December 2015.

Submit manuscripts to Additional details concerning the Spurgeon Neel Annual Award may be obtained by contacting Mrs. Sue McMasters at the AMEDD Museum Foundation, 210-226-0265.


Spurgeon H. Neel, Jr., M.D.
Major General, Medical Corps, United States Army

General Neel, born in 1919 in Memphis, TN, was known throughout the U.S. Army as the "father of aviation medicine." Receiving his M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee in 1942 and appointment in the army that same year, Neel's service as a Medical Corps officer began in 1943 and continued until his 1977 retirement.

Spurgeon H. Neel, Jr., M.D.

Major General Spurgeon Neel

During World War II he served as a company commander and battalion surgeon. Later key assignments included those of Division Surgeon, 82nd Airborne Division; Commander, 30th Medical Group; Chief, Army Aviation Branch at the Office of the Surgeon General, Surgeon, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (2 tours), Commanding General, 44th Medical Brigade and Surgeon, U.S. Army Vietnam; Deputy Surgeon General; and the first Commanding General of U.S. Army Health Services Command. In a period extending from the Korean War through the Vietnam War, General Neel championed the use of the helicopter for battlefield casualty evacuation and was the leader in development of aeromedical evacuation doctrine.

His accomplishments included establishment of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and serving as author or co-author of numerous publications relating to aviation medicine. He was a past president of the Aerospace Medical Association.

One of the Army Medical Department's most decorated soldiers, Neel's awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, and Combat Medic Badge. Other badges earned included the Glider Badge, Senior Parchutist Badge, and Master Flight Surgeon Badge. General Neel was a Diplomate, American Board of Preventive Medicine(Aviation Medicine), having earned an M.PH. degree at Harvard University.

Following Army retirement, General Neel continued his professional activities, to include acceptance of an appointment as Professor of Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He was one of two Army Medical Department retired general officers who, in 1977, began the successful campaign to raise funds to build a new U.S. Army Medical Department Museum.

General Neel served for many years as Chairman, Board of Directors, U.S. Army Medical Department Foundation, Inc., and in concert with Mrs. Neel, became a major donor whose generosity continued over the years. At time of his passing, he was Chairman Emeritus of the museum foundation.


U.S. Army Medical Museum

Since its dedication in 1989, the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum has continued to enhance its reputation as one of the most outstanding facilities of its kind in the world as an ideal venue for the restoration, preservation and exhibition of significant historic medical items. Military medical artifacts and memorabilia are proudly displayed in an environment that blends visualization of history with the appropriate presentation of the Army's contributions to medicine during times of both war and peace. It serves as a living reference library and research facility for students of all ages who have an interest in military medicine. It also augments the training of the more than 36,000 military and civilian students who attend the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, each year.

U.S. Army Medical Museum
3898 Stanley Road, Bldg 1046
San Antonio, TX 78234

Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesday-Saturday
The Museum is closed Sundays, Mondays and Federal holidays

Phone: 210-221-6358/6277
Fax: 210-221-6781