TASER International announced earlier this week that former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard H. Carmona has joined the company’s board of directors.

Carmona served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006. He is also a deputy sheriff and SWAT medic with the Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Department. One of Arizona’s most decorated officers, Carmona’s awards include the National Top Cop Award, National SWAT Officer of the Year, and the National Tactical EMS Award.

Prior to being named surgeon general, Carmona was the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System; and a professor of surgery, public health, and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona.

Born and raised in New York City, Carmona dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. While enlisted he received his General Equivalency Diploma, joined the Army’s Special Forces, was decorated for service in Vietnam, and began his career in medicine. He earned a BS degree from the University of California at San Francisco, and was the top graduate at the University of California Medical School.

“Dr. Carmona’s extensive experience in the medical, military, and law enforcement fields will provide added strategic focus to our goal of advancing TASER technology today and in the future,” says TASER International Chairman of the Board Tom Smith.