At the Jan. 12 retirement ceremony for Brig. Gen. Charles W. Chappuis Jr. with mother and sisters at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans are, from left, Joan Saizon, Tracy Moody, Anne Leonards, Chappuis, Lita Chappuis and Lynn Rogers.
From left, Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, adjutant general for the Louisiana National Guard, left, presented a flag to Brig. Gen. Charles W. Chappuis Jr.
Brig. Gen. Chappuis honored after 20 years of leadership in Air National Guard
Brig. Gen. Charles W. Chappuis Jr. was honored at a retirement ceremony at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans honoring his 20 years of leadership in the Louisiana Air National Guard.
During the event on Jan. 12, Chappuis received the Distinguished Service Medal, which recognized his service as state air surgeon from April 2014 to October 2018.
“I know I’m a better man for having spent the last 20 years of my life in the National Guard,” Chappuis said at the ceremony.
Referring to Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, adjutant general for the Louisiana National Guard, Chappuis said, “You gave me the opportunity to have what I believe is the most professionally rewarding job — taking care of the men and women who volunteer to serve our country.”
As state air surgeon, Chappuis served as the primary liaison between the individual medical units, the adjutant general, the air surgeon and the Army National Guard chief surgeon on force protection, medical issues, aspects of homeland security and other medical matters. He ensured that the state maintained a viable, healthy and medically ready force for worldwide deployment and availability.
In 1998, Chappuis received a direct commission in the Louisiana Air National Guard as a major serving as flight surgeon in the 159th Medical Squadron.
As a flight surgeon, Chappuis logged more than 550 hours in F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, C-17s, C-141s, C-130s and KC-10s. Chappuis logged over 135 combat and combat support flight hours in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Chappuis deployed numerous times for overseas contingency operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as clinical director of critical care air transport teams based at Ramstein Air Base in 2003 and 2011. He served as senior surgeon at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Balad, Iraq, in 2004 and as commander of the 447th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, Baghdad, Iraq, in 2008.
The general also participated in numerous disaster operations in Louisiana over the course of his career including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, floods, ice storms and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
The Rayne native is the son of Lita Chappuis and the late Charles “Moon” Chappuis.
Chappuis graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1979.
Chappuis resides in Lafayette with his wife, Cynthia. They have three children, Billy, Courtney and Catherine.
Chappuis is a professor of clinical surgery at LSU School of Medicine and chief of surgery and associate medical director at University Hospital in Lafayette.