VCOM 2022 Annual Report

White House Physician speaks at VCOMMilitary Promotion Ceremony

O n Friday, May 6, 2022, President Biden's White House physician charged the 12 VCOM-Virginia Class of 2022 military graduates to serve with honor. Kevin C. O'Connor, DO, FAAFP, U.S. Army, Colonel (Retired) gave the keynote address at the annual Military Promotion Ceremony that day in Blacksburg, Virginia. Classmates, friends, family members and faculty, staff and administration were in attendance in the VCOM II building, as 12 members of the Class of 2022 were promoted, representing the United States Army, Army Reserves, Navy, and Air Force. This year’s promotion ceremony featured remarks by former military physician, Frederic A. Rawlins III, DO, Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) Advisor and graduate of the VCOM Class of 2010. An invocation was delivered by VCOM Chairman of the Board John Rocovich Jr, JD, LLM, and the keynote address was given by Dr. O’Connor. Dr. O’Connor led the students being promoted in the Oaths of Office and then presented each of the twelve with a COM challenge coin. During the ceremony, Dr. O’Connor told the graduates that they should concentrate on teamwork and work every day on their brand

—how they conduct themselves while in service. He pointed out that there will be times that they will be called on to make difficult decisions, and they should always serve with honor. Dr. O’Connor told them that nothing will ever compare to treating soldiers in battle—to get in the dirt, get on

the line and learn to give them the best care. He also urged them to explore family medicine while in the military, get out of the hospitals and learn from fellow military members and their families. After the ceremony, Dr. O'Connor spoke with VCOM staff and shared his White House service. While he was in the Army, he served two and a half years as part of the medical team for former President George W. Bush. After that, he served as physician to former Vice President Joe Biden during former President Barack Obama's term. O'Connor planned on retiring from the military at that time, but former President Obama was reelected so O'Connor served another term before retirement. Then after retirement, he was asked by President Biden to return as his family medicine physician, so O'Conner returned to service. O'Conner said that the position of White House physician is a non-partisan one and such a great honor, but providing healthcare services as a military physician to fellow soldiers will always be the greatest honor he has ever had. “... nothing will ever compare to treating soldiers in battle – to get in the dirt, get on the line and learn to give them the best care.” —Kevin C. O’Connor, DO, FAAFP, US Army (retired)


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