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Walter “Lunar” Dalitsch III
Captain, Medical Corps
Commanding Officer
Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton
Captain Walt Dalitsch took the helm at Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton on July 9, 2021. He is board-certified in Aerospace Medicine and trained in Occupational and Disaster Medicine. Born in Cook County, Illinois, he earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, and after completing a surgical internship at Emanuel Hospital and Health Center in Portland, Oregon he worked as an emergency room physician at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital in Bethel, Alaska where he was also a country music radio deejay.
Captain Dalitsch was designated a Naval Flight Surgeon in 1995. His operational assignments included various deployments and detachments with Patrol Squadron Eleven (VP-11), Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-10), and Marine Fighter-Attack Squadron 312 (VMFA-312), the latter of which deployed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) where he served as Senior Flight Surgeon for Carrier Air Wing Three. He then served as Group Surgeon for Marine Aircraft Group 36 (MAG-36) in Okinawa, and as Senior Medical Officer for Branch Medical Clinic Futenma, Okinawa.
He graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center with a Master’s in Public Health as part of his Residency in Aerospace Medicine, which was completed at the Naval Operational Medicine Institute. He was then assigned as Senior Medical Officer in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). At various times he also briefly served as Acting Senior Medical Officer aboard three other aircraft carriers.
Captain Dalitsch then served as Department Head of Occupational Medicine at Naval Hospital Naples, Italy, where he supervised Occupational Health, Preventive Medicine, Industrial Hygiene, Radiation Health, Audiology and Health Promotions. In Naples he was also designated as Public Health Emergency Officer for the Naval Hospital, Naval Support Activities, and for Commander, Navy Region Europe.
He served as Command Flight Surgeon for the School of Aviation Safety in Pensacola, Florida training over 3000 Aviation Safety Officers, prospective Commanding and Executive Officers, and Crew Resource Management Instructors while conducting research into human performance, fatigue, nutritional supplements and energy drinks. He then served as Assistant Force Surgeon for Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, with a follow-on as the Head of Aviation Medicine at Naval Branch Health Clinic, Coronado.
Captain Dalitsch served as Director of Specialty Care at Lovell Federal Health Care Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, where he also subsequently served as Acting Chief Medical Executive and Director of Medical Practice, and then as Acting Health Systems Specialist for Geriatrics/Extended Care and Mental Health. He was then selected as the Director of the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, responsible for the qualification of all officer applicants to service academies, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs, the U.S. Public Health Service, and various Direct Accession and other officer accessions programs.
Prior to his present assignment, he served as Executive Officer of U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella, Sicily during its initial transition to a U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, with additional oversight over branch clinics in Sicily, Greece and Bahrain. He concurrently served as the installation Public Health Emergency Officer in support of 37 tenant commands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional career schooling has included Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) field training, designation as an Aviation Safety Officer, Crew Resource Management Instructor-Instructor and Operational Risk Management Instructor designations, and completion of the Military Tropical Medicine Course with field experience in Bolivia. He is a qualified TeamSTEPPS Instructor, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner, an Assistant Professor at Chicago Medical School and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a certified Federal Aviation Safety Officer.
Captain Dalitsch is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, for which he also served as Vice President of Member Services and Chair of the Scientific Program Committee; he also served as President of the Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons. He is the recipient of the 2019 Mitchell award for lifetime achievement in aerospace medicine, the 2013 Carter Award for outstanding teamwork supporting the Naval operational fleet, and the 2008 Graybiel Award for excellence in publication. He has over 2000 flight hours in thirty different military aircraft, has published over 350 articles and a medical textbook chapter, and given nearly 150 presentations at professional conferences and other settings.
His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fifth award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Fleet Marine Force, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, as well as multiple unit awards. Besides his Flight Surgeon wings, he has earned the Naval Aviation Observer wings and Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer insignia

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