Volume 28 | April 15, 2022
Remembering LTG Quinn H. Becker, 36th Army Surgeon General 
Lieutenant General (Retired) Quinn H. Becker, 91, passed away on Sunday, March 13th, 2022 at his home in San Antonio, Texas.

He was born June 11th, 1930, in Kirksville, Missouri to Sarah Lucille Henderson and Quinn Henry Becker. Quinn Henry, a family doctor, passed away when Quinn was fourteen years old. His mother moved the family to her childhood home in Monroe, Louisiana. Quinn worked to support his family, peddling newspapers on an old bicycle. He excelled academically in high school and enjoyed fixing bikes, motorcycles, and cars. He also liked welding, carpentry, art, and farming equipment, and these interests continued throughout his life.

Quinn attended Northeast Louisiana State College in Monroe, where he met and married his beautiful wife Gladys Marie Roussell. He enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and initially majored in agriculture. His science professor recognized his competence and guided him to change his major and pursue medicine. Quinn graduated from college in 1952, as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was initially commissioned a Regular Army 2LT in the Military Police but deferred from active duty to attend Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans as the Army had a shortage of doctors.

Quinn graduated from LSU Medical School in 1956 and then completed his internship at Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii, followed by an Army sponsored orthopedic residency at Confederate Memorial Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana.

LTG Becker served as an orthopedic surgeon at Fort Gordon, Georgia and Fort Rucker Alabama. In 1964, he moved to Heidelberg, Germany where he commanded the 5th Surgical Hospital (Mobile Army). Later he moved to Wurzburg, Germany as the 3rd Infantry Division Surgeon and then chief of orthopedic surgery at the 33rd Field Hospital.

After returning from Germany in 1967, LTG Becker served as the assistant chief of orthopedics at Walter Reed General Hospital.

Following completion of the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970, LTG Becker deployed to Vietnam. His initial assignment in Vietnam was chief of professional services at the 85th Evacuation Hospital. Later, LTG Becker was the division surgeon and commander of the 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. Besides leading the medical battalion in Vietnam, he managed a fleet of medical evacuation helicopters and crews. This assignment began a close association with the DUSTOFF mission and battlefield medicine, resulting in lifelong friendships.

Following his return from Vietnam in 1971, LTG Becker was reassigned to Tripler Army Medical Center where he served as chief of orthopedics and the orthopedic residency training program.

After completing the US Army War College in 1975, LTG Becker and his family moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as the XVIII Airborne Corps Surgeon and concurrently commander of the Fort Bragg Medical Activity (Hospital). Not only was LTG Becker responsible for providing health care for soldiers, family members, and retirees at Fort Bragg, but he also supervised medical readiness of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

Upon being selected for Brigadier General, he worked for the Army Surgeon General in the Pentagon as the Director of Health Care Operations. In this senior leadership position, he worked on battlefield medicine readiness including funding, designing, and obtaining Deployable Medical Systems (DEPMEDS), upgrading medical evacuation helicopters, and coordinating health service support for Airland Battle.

Selected for his next command and his second star in 1980, LTG Becker commanded the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, the largest allied health care training facility in the United States. He was responsible for training all the medical specialties in the Army, to include officer and NCO leadership training. Additionally, he was also responsible for developing doctrine for field medical units. He was instrumental in starting the Combat Casualty Care Course.

In 1983, during the Cold War period, LTG Becker was called to lead the 7th Medical Command in Europe, consisting of 11 large hospitals, 67 health and dental clinics, a Europe-wide aeromedical evacuation unit, and a plethora of other medical support services. Besides commanding a large and complex health care system for deployed military and their families, he concurrently served as the United States Army Europe Surgeon and the United States European Command Surgeon.
In 1985, LTG Becker was selected for his 3rd Star, and appointed as the 36th Army Surgeon General. As the Surgeon General, he oversaw the Army’s complex health care system worldwide. Working directly for the Army Chief of Staff, he was also responsible for the medical readiness of the force to support wartime and deployment missions. Some of his initiatives included establishing the Enlisted Advisory Council, which looked after the needs of enlisted soldiers, Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs), and their family members. LTG Becker became the first commander of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Regiment. As one of the key founders of the regiment, the AMEDD Regiment organization exists today to instill pride and heritage to the many medical personnel that served.

Even after retiring from the Army in 1988, LTG Becker’s legacy of medical readiness was realized during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During this Gulf War, the field medicine work orchestrated by LTG Becker during the 1970s and 80s was instrumental in providing health service support to the deployed force. Following the war, retired LTG Becker, was personally called and thanked by Desert Storm Commander, General Norman Swartzkopf, for emphasizing medical readiness while on active duty. LTG Becker responded to General Swartzkopf, “Sir, it was a great team effort”.

LTG Becker, throughout his career, was known as a ‘field doctor” and for emphasizing “medical readiness” of the force, his legacy to the Army. He accomplished things throughout his entire life by building teams and creating personal bonds and relationships. He was respected because of his humility, sincerity, and kindness.

General Becker’s military education includes the Armed Forces Staff College, Flight Surgeon Course and the Army War College. Awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal and others. He also earned the Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Senior Flight Badge.

Quinn was recognized by Who’s Who in America and recently inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Army’s aeromedical evacuation mission.

During his retirement years, LTG Becker continued to build and lead teams of people in whatever he did. Beyond his professional career, he contributed considerable time to public service, including President of the Civitan Club, Chairman of the Board for the AMEDD Museum Foundation, fraternal member of Masons, and Fellow of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He was also a long-standing board member for nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospice.

LTG Becker was a generous benefactor of the Army Medical Department Museum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the AMEDD Museum Foundation Capital Campaign Fund in memory of LTG Quinn Becker, PO Box 8294, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78208. 

Obituary prepared by Porter Loring Mortuaries.
LTG Becker and the AMEDD Museum Foundation
From November 2005-June 2008, LTG Becker served as Chairman of the Board for the AMEDD Museum Foundation. During LTG Becker’s time as chairman of the board with the AMEDD Museum Foundation, the Foundation was able to acquire the dental book collection of Dr. John M. Hyson, Jr., DDS. This was an important acquisition that vastly improved the Museum’s holdings in the field of dentistry. Phase IIIA of the AMEDD Museum’s construction was dedicated in 2006, which included the MG Spurgeon-Neale Aero-Medical Pavilion. He was a champion for the AMEDD Museum Foundation’s cause, and he will be truly missed. 
Administrative Professionals Day
April 27, 2022 is Administrative Professionals Day. If you have interacted with the AMEDD Museum Foundation during the past 14 years, you have almost certainly spoken with Mrs. Sue McMasters, the office’s Administrator.

Since starting with the foundation in January 2008, Sue has been an integral part of the team and has preserved the institutional memory of the foundation. She manages the donor program, brick program, and oversees daily operations. When Dr. Hyson’s book collection was acquired for the Museum’s collection, Sue, drawing on her years of expertise as a librarian, helped catalogue the books for the inventory.

When Sue took over managing the brick program, she identified the need for an inventory. She painstakingly went through the courtyard brick-by-brick to document and catalogue every piece. She continues to ensure that the brick program preserves the legacies of those who are honored and memorialized at the AMEDD Museum.

In 2012, the Foundation offices moved from the back of the facility to the front offices where they are today. During the move, Sue spent time going through the historical documentation to rebuild and update digital records.

Through her work with the foundation, Sue learned about the history of Army medicine and why it is vital to preserve documentation for posterity. In her own words, the mission of the foundation is significant because no matter what obstacles are in the way, the Foundation accomplishes its goals. Building the AMEDD Museum, the pavilions, the Medal of Honor Walk, the DUSTOFF Memorial wall, and more, has been accomplished by volunteers. The perseverance of the foundation’s efforts resonates with Sue’s own core values.

When asked about her fondest memory from her time with the foundation, Sue’s interactions with retired General Officers have brought her the most joy. From LTG Becker calling and beginning every conversation saying, “Sue, this is Quinn,” to her first interaction with MG Floyd Baker who simply introduced himself as “Floyd,” the kindness of these leaders has made a lasting impact for Sue.

Thank you, Sue! We appreciate all you have done and continue to do for us!
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