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Col. Ronald J. Merchant is the Commander, 23d Medical Group, Moody AFB, home of the legendary “Flying Tigers” where 5,000 assigned Airmen execute pararescue and combat operations employing HC-130Js, HH-60s and A-10C aircraft. His staff of 290 serves over 18,000 beneficiaries in 8 facilities, with a $15.5M annual operations and maintenance budget and an additional $23M in purchased care. The group maintains 46 combat programs and war reserve materiel valued at $5.7M. The Medical Group provides outpatient family medicine, pediatric, dental, occupational, flight medicine, preventive health services and pararescue support programs.

Prior to this assignment, Col Merchant was the Chief, Medical Support Division and Command Administrator, Office of the Command Surgeon, Air Mobility Command (AMC) Headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. In this capacity, Col Merchant assisted the Command Surgeon to provide the President of the United States, Combatant Commanders, and Wing Commanders with medical programs to create and sustain reliable combat ready forces to conduct global air mobility providing the right effects, at the right place, and the right time. Col Merchant advised the Command Surgeon General on medical transformational strategy, policy, training, staffing and resources for 11 military treatment facilities with over 6,250 medical staff and 448,000 beneficiaries. He had program oversight for $781M annual operating budget and $176M DoD Patient Movement Item, and served as the Command Senior Medical Service Corps officer.

Col. Merchant was commissioned into the United States Air Force upon graduation from Officer Training School in 1995 following graduation from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. He has served as a military medical treatment facility administrator and has commanded squadrons in Germany, California, and Mississippi.

Col. Merchant has held a variety of assignments at the Wing, Numbered Air Force, Field Operating Agency, and Headquarters Air Force levels. He has participated in multi-national operations in the United States Central Command, Pacific Command, Southern Command, and European Command areas of responsibility. Col Merchant is board certified as a Certified Materials & Resource Professional.

1991 Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
1994 Master of Arts Degree with Specialization in Healthcare Administration, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
1995 Health Services Administration Course, Sheppard Air Force Base, TX
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2004 Air Command and Staff College (non-residency), Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2008 Air War College (non-residency), Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2014 Combined Senior Leader Course, Washington, DC
2016 Joint Task Force Senior Medical Leader Seminar, Joint Staff Surgeon, Washington, DC
2020 MAF AFFOR Senior Staff Course, Scott Air Force Base, IL
2021 Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives Course, Washington, DC

1. February 1995 - June1999, TRICARE Beneficiary Officer; Executive Officer to MDG Commander; and Medical Readiness Flight Commander, 375th Medical Group, Scott AFB, IL.
May - August 1997, deployed as Aeromedical Evacuation Liaison Team Leader, Army Combat Support Hospital, Hungary & Bosnia-Herzegovina
2. July 1999 - July 2000, Medical Readiness Flight Commander, 51st Medical Group, Osan AB, ROK.
3. August 2000 - March 2003, Medical Logistics Flight Commander, 2d Medical Group, Barksdale AFB, LA.
November 2001 - March 2002, deployed as Administrator, 363rd Expeditionary Medical Group, Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia
4. April 2003 - March 2004, Chief, Requirements & Capabilities Analysis, Global Medical Support Division, Air Force Medical Support Agency, Bolling AFB, DC.
5. April 2004 - June 2006, Air Force Medical Functional Area Manager (FAM), Global Medical Support Division, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Bolling AFB, DC.
January - May 2006, Deployed as Combined Air Operations Center, AFCENT/SG Theater Planner, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
6. June 2006 - June 2008, Medical Logistics Flight Commander and Deputy Commander, 435th Medical Support Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany (January 2008 - June 2008, Acting Commander, 435th Medical Support Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany)
7. June 2008 - July 2011, Commander, 95th Medical Support Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA.
8. July 2011 - July 2013, Chief, Medical War Reserve Materiel Industrial Operations, Medical Logistics Division, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Joint Base San Antonio, TX.
9. July 2013 - July 2015, Commander, 81st Medical Support Squadron, Keesler AFB, MS.
10. July 2015 - June 2018, Deputy Commander, 99th Medical Group, Nellis AFB, NV.
11. June 2018 – June 2021, Chief, Medical Support Division, HQ Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, IL
12. June 2021 – Present; Commander, 23 Medical Group, Moody AFB GA

1. September 2020 – February 2021, COVID-19 Vaccine Program Planning & Distribution Team – Military Liaison Officer, Operation WARP SPEED, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Army Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters and valor device
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Air and Space Campaign Medal with Service Star
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Bar
Humanitarian Service Medal
NATO Medal

American Hospital Association – Certified Materials & Resource Professional (CMRP)

Second Lieutenant February 11, 1995
First Lieutenant July 26, 1995
Captain July 26, 1997
Major September 1, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2007
Colonel September 1, 2014