Walter J. Giller, Jr. – Major General, United States Air Force


USAF Photo

Courtesy of the University of Arkansas

Orthopaedic surgeon Walter J. Giller Jr., M.D., of El Dorado , Arkansas, was a retired Major General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve who died in March 2003.

Major General Giller died March 13, 2003, after a distinguished medical and military career spanning more than 30 years. He was commissioned through the U.S. Air Force Senior Medical Student Program in 1966 while he was attending the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. He served on active duty in the Air Force from 1968 to 1976 and in the Air Force Reserve from 1976 until his retirement from the military in 1998.

During his active duty, Dr. Giller served as a squadron flight surgeon and the chief of aerospace medicine at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas; completed a four-year orthopaedic surgery residency at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; and served as a hospital flight surgeon, the acting hospital commander and the chief of surgery at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. He was selected Flight Surgeon of the Year, Tactical Air Command, in 1969.

The positions that Dr. Giller held during his years in the Air Force Reserve included hospital commander of the 11th Contingency Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base and deputy surgeon general of reserve affairs at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington , D.C. He was selected Outstanding Reserve Aerospace Medicine Physician of 1979.

Throughout his career, Dr. Giller received many awards. Among these were the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters; the National Defense Medal; and two Department of the Air Force medals – the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Commendation Medal.

Dr. Giller was a charter member and past member of the board of directors of both the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Air Force Reserve Society of Flight Surgeons. He was also a member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States , the Air Force Society of Flight Surgeons and the Aerospace Medicine Association.

In his civilian life, Dr. Giller was an orthopaedic surgeon in private practice in El Dorado from 1977 to 2000. He served as the vice chief of staff of the Medical Center of South Arkansas, a medical consultant to South Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and an assistant clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at UAMS. He was also a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, a fellow of both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, and an associate counselor to the Southern Medical Association.

In addition to his medical practice and military career, Dr. Giller was the chairman of the board of trustees of the Anna W. Giller Trust. His responsibilities included rice, soybean and timber farming, as well as the management of a portfolio of investment securities and residential and commercial development projects. Dr. Giller’s other noteworthy roles included representative to the 1979 Arkansas State Constitutional Convention – serving as the chairman of the Committee on the Finance and Taxation Article – and candidate for lieutenant governor of Arkansas in 1980.


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