AFRL physician researcher named Aerospace Medical Association Fellow

  • Published
  • By Holly Jordan
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Aerospace Medical Association recently honored AFRL physician researcher Dr. (Brig Gen) James McEachen with the title of Fellow for his career-long accomplishments and professional dedication to aerospace medicine leadership, operations, education, and research.

McEachen is an aerospace medicine physician researcher and the optimization of human capital core research lead for the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing. He is also a brigadier general in the Air National Guard, where he currently serves as the ANG Assistant to the Defense Health Agency director of combat support as well as the director of the joint DHA Reserve Liaison Office. Recently in his military role, McEachen was selected to serve on the DoD COVID-19 Task Force as the deputy for diagnostics and testing. 

Throughout the course of his career, McEachen has made numerous contributions in the areas of developmental flight test, aeromedical education and research, military operations, and national security. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering, respectively. Following medical school at the University of Illinois, Dr. McEachen completed his residency training at the Yale School of Medicine and fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic. He is board certified in both aerospace medicine and radiology. A prior associate professor and principal investigator in academia, Dr. McEachen’s research interests are focused on human performance optimization, particularly in the area of extreme operational environments, which are at the center of his current work as a principal investigator at the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing.

Adding to his aeromedical research efforts is a remarkable and diverse array of operational accomplishments. Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. McEachen was an Air Force flight test engineer and graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. He has acquired 800+ hours in 35 different airframes as a flight test engineer and made significant contributions in the flight test arena, particularly in support of E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System special project and advanced development efforts. As a senior leader in the ANG, McEachen has served in numerous roles at the national level as an ANG assistant to the DHA director of combat support as well as to command surgeons at both Air Mobility Command and the 25th Air Force. In these roles, he led key efforts at shaping Total Force solutions addressing top priority Air Force needs to help enhance combat casualty care transport to meet expanding combatant command requirements. He also worked to shape key integrated operational support solutions for remote weapon strike warriors engaged in 24/7/365 operations.
“Dr. McEachen’s career focused on solving the most complex aerospace medicine issues within the Air Force. His commitment to the aerospace medicine community and the Air Force mission is critical to our service members’ abilities and capabilities to meet our nation’s requirements in all environments. Dr. McEachen is very deserving of this honor.”

Aerospace Medical Association Fellows are chosen from active members who have made outstanding contributions to aerospace medicine, aeronautics, astronautics, undersea medicine, or environmental health, in the context of research. Candidates are nominated by other Fellows and are assessed according to wide range of professional contributions.

The Aerospace Medical Association comprises members from medical specialties throughout the military, academia, and private industry, providing a forum to network and share expertise for the benefit of the larger community. McEachen is scheduled to be inducted next year in an official ceremony.