Rear Adm. Cynthia A. Kuehner is a native of Fort Rucker, Alabama. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her graduate degrees include a Master of Science in Nursing from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was commissioned an ensign in 1991 through the baccalaureate degree completion program.
Operationally, Kuehner served as the senior nurse of Bravo Surgical Company, with the 1st Force Service Support Group, in Fallujah, Iraq, providing direct casualty care during the height of combat operations at the busiest role II medical facility, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Vigilant Resolve (the first battle of Fallujah). She also served as the senior medical officer, and ultimately as the executive officer, of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Khost, Afghanistan. As the team’s provincial partner for health sector development, in a war-torn province of more than one million Afghans, she worked with Afghan government officials, U.S. departments, and non-government organizations to bolster reconstruction efforts essential to the counterinsurgency strategy, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Kuehner’s previous assignments include staff nurse positions on the pediatric ward and labor and delivery units, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California; division officer at the Branch Medical Clinic, Sasebo, Japan; duty under instruction at USUHS, Bethesda, Maryland, family nurse practitioner (FNP) track; medical staff and primary care manager (PCM), Naval Health Clinic, Corpus Christi, Texas; department head and PCM, Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; department head, and PCM, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington.
Executive assignments include director for branch clinics and command executive board, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia; executive officer, Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. As commanding officer, Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan, she directly supported forward deployed Navy and Marine forces and theater operational plans in INDOPACOM. Staff assignments include Navy Medicine transition lead; assistant deputy chief, medical operations (M3); and deputy chief, operations, plans and readiness (M2, M3, M5), Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) headquarters, where she ensured Navy Medicine’s successful surge response and led novel, adaptive naval force solutions to the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. In June 2020, Kuehner was appointed as the 26th director of the Navy Nurse Corps. Kuehner currently serves as commander, Naval Medical Forces Support Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
In addition to numerous unit and campaign awards, her personal awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), the Fleet Marine Force Ribbon, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the U.S. Army’s Combat Action Badge. She was awarded the Japanese Defense Cooperation Award (Second Class) from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Kuehner maintains board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) and as an Advanced Nurse Executive (NEA-BC) with the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Fellow of both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) and the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).
Last Updated: 20 September 2021