Colonel Michael P. Kozar graduated with a B.S. in chemistry/biology from Lock Haven University and was commissioned a second lieutenant through Army R.O.T.C. in 1988. Following completion of an internship in Medical Technology at the Reading Hospital & Medical center, Pennsylvania, he entered active duty in 1990. Colonel Kozar is a graduate of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Officer Basic and Advanced Course, the Combined Arms & Services Staff School, and the Command & General Staff Officers Course.
Colonel Kozar holds a Ph.D in Biomedical Science with an emphasis in microbiology from the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, Columbia, SC. Since 2012 he has served as the Research Area Director for Infectious Diseases, Chair of the Joint Program Committee-2 Military Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD and is responsible for the infectious disease research portfolio for the pre-clinical and clinical development of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, vector control and vector assays of military importance. Colonel Kozar served as the Consultant in Microbiology to the US Army Surgeon General from 2012 to 2015 and is currently an Assistant Corp Chief of the Medical Service Corp in Medical Allied Sciences.
Following commissioning Colonel Kozar was assigned to the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA as a clinical laboratory officer from 1990-1994. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he served as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Blood Donor Center and in 1992, he deployed as the OIC of the 86th Evacuation Hospital laboratory in support of Operation Restore Hope, Mogadishu, Somalia. In 1995, he was assigned to Ireland Army Community Hospital, Fort Knox, KY as the Laboratory Manager. In 1997 he was selected to pursue a PhD through the Army’s Long Term Health Education & Training Program at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine in Columbia, SC and was awarded a doctorate in 2001. His next assignment was to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics as chief of the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics laboratory. In 2004, he was assigned to the Army Medical Department Center & School as the chief of the Microbiology Branch, responsible for training over 800 soldiers/year in clinical bacteriology, parasitology, and mycology as part of their training as medical laboratory technicians. In 2006 he returned to the WRAIR as the Associate Director for Drug Development in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics where he was responsible for the pre-clinical development of drugs to prevent and treat malaria and leishmaniasis.
Colonel Kozar’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Expert Field Medical Badge. Colonel Kozar has published more than 40 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters. He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit and holds the Surgeon General’s “9A” proficiency designator denoting the highest level of professional recognition in the AMEDD.