Local News

July 12, 2014

Col. Higdon retires from Army

Dalton native Col. Mark L. Higdon retired from the U.S. Army on June 12 after a 25-year career. He was the outgoing commander of Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson, S.C.

Higdon, a 1985 graduate of Southeast Whitfield High School, began his military career following graduation from Berry College in Rome in June 1989. He was awarded an ROTC scholarship during college and graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He joined the regular Army as a second lieutenant in the aviation branch, completing the Officer Basic Course and Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 1990.

He was then assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan., and deployed as an aviation platoon leader during Operation Desert Storm/Shield. Following deployment, he was awarded a Health Professions Scholarship (HPSP) and attended medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine where he graduated with highest honors in 1996. He completed his family medicine residency training at Martin Army Community Hospital in Fort Benning, Ga., in 1999 and a teaching fellowship in 2002 at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

He most recently was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom 5-7 with the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. His previous duty assignments included Deputy Commander for Clinical Services (DCCS) at Martin Army Community Hospital; Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency Clinic OIC; Residency Team Leader; Staff Family Physician (Winder Clinic); and Chief Resident (all at Martin Army); Staff Family Physician, Hohenfels, Germany; Brigade Surgeon, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Assistant S-3, Scout Platoon and General Support Platoon Leader for the 1st Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Higdon’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Campaign Stars, Saudi Arabia/Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, the Expert Field Medical Badge, Army Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, Airborne Badge. He was the 2006 recipient of the Surgeon General’s Physician Recognition Award and is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

Higdon is a board-certified family physician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has published or presented numerous medical and military articles. He is an assistant professor of family medicine at the Uniformed Services Health Sciences University in Bethesda, Md., Mercer Medical School in Macon and the Georgia campus for the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He has taken a job in Charlotte, N.C., at Novant Medical Center beginning in August and will be vice president over the residency program there.

Higdon and his wife Jennifer, a family practice doctor, have been married 18 years. They have three sons: Caleb, 18, Nathan, 13, and Ben, 11. Mark Higdon is the son of Tommy and Sharon Higdon and the brother of Matt and Jeff Higdon, all of Dalton.

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