Michael A Pelzner


Colonel, Army

Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Office Phone


Johns Hopkins University, B.A. Biology 1992
New York Medical College, M.D., 1996
Brooke Army Medical Center, Internship Pediatrics, 1997
San Antonio Uniformed Services Pediatric Residency Program, 1999
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship (Educational Leadership), 2008


COL (Dr.) Michael Pelzner was born in San Jose, California and raised outside of New York City in the town of New Canaan, CT. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1992, and was commissioned in the Army Reserves in 1993 after being accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Dr. Pelzner received his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1996. COL Pelzner completed an internship in Pediatrics at Brooke Army Medical Center, then graduated residency from the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) Pediatric Residency Program after the Army and Air Force training programs merged. He completed a fellowship in Academic Pediatrics at the Primary Care Faculty Development Program at Michigan State University in 2007, specializing in Educational Leadership.

COL Pelzner stayed on the teaching staff of Brooke Army Medical Center for 2 years after residency, after which he was assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, arriving just 3 weeks after the tragedy of 9/11. He deployed in the first cycle of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1st Armored Division, serving as the Battalion Surgeon for the 501st Forward Support Battalion. In 2004, he joined the faculty at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS), becoming the Pediatric Clerkship Director and member of the school’s Executive Curriculum Committee. He went back to Landstuhl in 2009, initially as the Chief of Pediatrics but ultimately serving as the Chief of the entire Division of Medicine, including 23 clinical services and a staff of over 300 people. After a tour as the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services (DCCS) at Kenner Army Health Clinic, Fort Lee, Virginia, he joined the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) staff in August 2014, where he served as the Deputy Chief, G37 Medical Readiness/IDES Service Line, until taking over as Chief of Medical Readiness and IDES in July 2016. COL Pelzner played a key role in envisioning and implementing the Army-wide Personnel and Medical Readiness Transformation effort, used by the Chief of Staff of the Army in changing the culture of readiness in the Total Force. COL Pelzner served as the Chair of the Joint Essential Medical Capabilities Working Group, bringing a tri-service approach to readiness reporting. In May 2017, COL Pelzner assumed the duties of the Chief Surgeon of the Army National Guard.

COL Pelzner is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is a past delegate to the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP) and the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) from USUHS, where he continues to be an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. COL Pelzner served as the European Regional Pediatrics Consultant and planned three regional conferences. He has several peer-reviewed publications and has given multiple national and international lectures. COL Pelzner’s military education includes the Command and General Staff College, the Joint Medical Executive Skills Program, including the Capstone Program, and he has begun the Army War College Distance Learning Program. COL Pelzner also is a graduate of the Medical Strategic Leadership Program. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), the Army Commendation Medal (2 OLCs) and the Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC). He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit, and was awarded the “A” Proficiency Designator by the Surgeon General for demonstrated excellence in Pediatrics.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

Chief Surgeon, National Guard Bureau (2017-present)

Chief, G37 Medical Readiness/IDES, Office of the Surgeon General (2014-2017)

Deputy Commander, Clinical Services, Kenner Army Health Clinic, Fort Lee, VA (2012-2014)

Chief, Division of Medicine, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (2009-2012)

Pediatric Clerkship Director, USUHS (2004-2009)

Chief, Inpatient Pediatric Service, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (2001-2004)

Battalion Surgeon, 501 Forward Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division (2003)

Staff, Pediatrics, SAUSHEC (1999-2001)