Kory Cornum was born in 1957. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1976, and graduated with a commission as a 2d Lt on May 28, 1980, remaining at the Academy as assistant football coach from July 1980 to June 1981. His next assignment was as a research biologist at Brooks AFB, Texas, from June 1981 to July 1982, followed by medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, from July 1982 to June 1986. Capt Cornum interned at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews AFB, Maryland, from July 1986 to June 1987, and then served as a Flight Surgeon with the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, from September 1987 to July 1988. His next assignment was as a Flight Surgeon with the 58th Fighter Squadron and Surgeon with the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, from July 1988 to July 1993. During this time, Maj Cornum deployed with the 33rd Fighter Wing to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 to March 1991. He then served as a research scientist at Brooks AFB from July 1993 to July 1995, followed by orthopedic residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, from July 1995 to June 1999. Col Cornum's next assignment was as an orthopedic surgeon at Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson AFB, and Pope AFB, North Carolina, from July 1999 to July 2001, and then as Command Surgeon at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C., from July 2001 to August 2002. He attended the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair from August 2002 to June 2003, and then served as Commander of the 435th Medical Squadron at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany from July 2003 to June 2005. Col Cornum next served as Commander of the 1st Medical Group at Langley AFB, Virginia, from July 2005 to August 2007, followed by service as Command Surgeon with Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, from August 2007 to April 2010. Gen Cornum served as Commander of the 81st Medical Group at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, from April 2010 to March 2014, and he is currently serving as Command Surgeon for Headquarters Air Mobility Command at Scott AFB, Illinois. He is a Chief Flight Surgeon and has amassed over 1,000 flight hours in 40 different aircraft.
His Air Medal Citation reads:
Major Kory G. Cornum distinguished himself by meritorious achievement as the Flight Surgeon, 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Deployed), 33d Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional), King Faisal Air Base, Saudi Arabia, while participating in sustained aerial flight in support of Operation DESERT STORM from 17 January 1991 to 9 March 1991. During this period, Major Cornum flew a variety of missions including a Combat Search and Rescue of two British Tornado aircrew who had ejected near the Jordanian border at night. Major Cornum's knowledge and skill hastened their recovery and prevented further injury. He also flew in support of a United States Army armed reconnaissance mission deep into Iraq that captured equipment and intelligence material. To gain insight and experience Major Cornum sat alert to nearly 48 hours ready to fly on any mission. This allowed him to provide operational medical support to the pilots which resulted in no missions lost due to illness or fatigue as the squadron flew more hours and sorties than any other during the war. His contributions were a positive factor in the most successful air campaign in Air Force history. The professional skill and airmanship displayed by Major Cornum reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.