WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
GIL DRAKE TOLAN (1960)
US Air Force
Gil Drake Tolan, MD graduated from Wilson in 1960. He served in the USAF from 1973 to 1993, retiring as a bird colonel. He was also a command flight surgeon, and adds, "I did no surgery especially in flight."
For most of his 20 years on active duty, Gil was assigned to the Clinical Sciences Division of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine. His primary duty was to recommend to the USA and USAF Surgeon Generals which rated aviators, who had been medically grounded, could be returned to flying duties with a medical waiver.
In addition, Dr. Tolan was responsible for compiling the evidence supporting both the above waiver policies, as well as setting medical criteria for entry into flight training or maintenance on flying status. These criteria have been adopted by other air forces both friend and foe. Gil tells us that these criteria "strongly influence who flies your commercial aircraft you risk your life on."