A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Captain Christopher M. Culp entered the naval service through the health professions scholarship program in 1983 while a senior in the school of engineering at Vanderbilt University. He completed his MD in 1987 at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and served his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia from 1987-1990, and was selected as Chief Medical Resident for the 1990-1991 year.
Culp entered active service in 1991, serving at Naval Hospital Pensacola and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. As the Special Studies department head at NAMI, he directed the Repatriated Prisoner of War project and the Thousand Aviator Study. In 1992, he reported to Naval Hospital Newport as the Internal Medicine Department Head. He served in numerous roles prior to detaching in 1997. In 1994, he served as the Task Force Surgeon for the Haitian Alien Migration Interdiction Operation in the Windward Passage. In 1997, he reported to USS KEARSARGE where he served as Senior Medical Officer, deploying in 1997 and 1999. During the 1999 deployment, USS KEARSARGE served as the casualty receiving ship for NATO forces afloat during the Kosovo operations. In 1999, Culp reported to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where he served sequentially as Head, General Internal Medicine, Medical Director, President of the Medical Staff, and Director for Medical Services. In 2003, he served as an embarked internist aboard USS KEARSAGE and in Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. From June 2006 through August 2008, Culp served as Deputy Commander for Clinical Services for Tripler Army Medical Center and the Pacific Regional Medical Command in Honolulu, HI. From August 2008 through August 2011, Culp served as Deputy Chief of the Navy Medical Corps, and from August 2011 through August 2013, as Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital Bremerton. From August 2013 through October 2014, Culp served as the Medical Inspector General. He was the Fleet Surgeon, US Pacific Fleet, from October 2014 to June 2016. In July 2016, Culp began serving as Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
Culp was first certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine 1991. He is a member and fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was the College’s 1997 Henry Sparks Award winner for excellence in Internal Medicine and 2007 laureate award winner. He served as the Navy Surgeon General’s Specialty Leader for Internal Medicine from 2000-2006.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit (5 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), and numerous tour and campaign awards.