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Command Surgeon, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (J07)

Captain Jeffrey W. Bitterman, MD, MBA, FACEP, FACHE, USN

Captain Jeff Bitterman, a native of Buffalo, New York, was commissioned in 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Houghton College and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in 1995. He completed residency training at Naval Medical Center San Diego and is board certified in Emergency Medicine. He earned his Executive MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2014. He is a designated Naval Flight Surgeon and Expert Parachutist, and a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne and Air Assault Schools.

His operational tours include deployments with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Assigned to the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing during OEF I, he was instrumental in establishing the initial Joint Multinational Theater MEDEVAC plan. Assigned as Commander Amphibious Task Force (CATF) Surgeon for COMPHIBRON ONE and Officer in Charge, Fleet Surgical Team THREE, he served as the Medical Contingent Commander for PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2009, Working with the State Department and the Security Cooperation Office, he integrated personnel from six partner nations and eleven non-governmental organizations to improve host nation disaster response capacity and enhance regional stability in the 7th Fleet AOR. In 2011, he deployed as Officer-in-Charge of NOBLE EAGLE Forward Surgical Team to the United Kingdom Role 3 Combat Hospital in Camp Bastion and to the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

MTF tours include assignment to Naval Hospital Guam in 2005 where he served first as Chairman of the Emergency Medicine Department and then as Director of Healthcare Operations. While serving as interim Executive Officer, he implemented the Patient Centered Medical Home Model. Dr. Bitterman was detailed to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in 2010, where he served as the Director of Medical Services, Wounded Warrior Medical Director, and Chief Medical Officer. There, he stood up the Navy’s first Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, established the Warrior Recovery Center, and executed a successful transition to a new replacement hospital.

In 2015, he served as Executive Officer of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, California, where he opened a new Branch Health Clinic and stood up the Marine Centered Medical Home. In August 2017 he assumed command of Naval Hospital Bremerton and guided the first inpatient facility to deploy the DoD’s new $4.3 billion electronic health record, MHS GENESIS and received the Louis D. Liskin Award in Business and Public Policy.

Post-command tours include assignment as Force Surgeon, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (August 2019) and Fleet Surgeon for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (July 2022). In June 2023, he was assigned to his current position as Command Surgeon, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

A fellow of both the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Healthcare Executives, Dr. Bitterman has served as an Assistant Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine and on the Executive Board for the San Diego Integrated Healthcare Initiative and the Puget Sound Military Health System Market Executive Council.

Captain Bitterman’s personal awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with gold star, Meritorious Service Medal (three Gold Stars), Strike/Flight Air Medal with Numeral 1, Aerial Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two Gold Stars), USAF Commendation Medal, USAF Outstanding Unit Award with combat “V”, and various unit, service, and campaign awards.