Complete Story


Justin Sandholm, OD (Air Force)

Lt Col (Dr.) Justin E. Sandholm is the Optometry Flight Commander, 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. As the Optometry Flight Commander, he directs the provision of comprehensive eye care services ensuring preventive medical care and maximum wartime readiness in support of missions utilizing 8 airframes for 42 units from 7 MAJCOMs and 3 services. Lt Col Sandholm also serves as the 18th Medical Group Senior Biomedical Sciences Corps Executive. In this role, hesupports and manages a $16 million enterprise encompassing 9 facilities and 561 personnel charged with serving 15.1K beneficiaries. He also facilitates executive oversight, strategic planning, medical readiness, training and worldwide deployments for 432 active duty Airmen.

Lt Col Justin Sandholm was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He first entered military service as a hospital corpsman with the Navy Reserve in January 1992 and received an honorable discharge in January 2000. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology in December 1996 and went on to earn his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in May 2001. Lt Col Sandholm was commissioned into the Air Force via direct accession as a Biomedical Sciences Corps officer in August 2007 after practicing optometry 6 for years in a civilian capacity. He completed a residency in primary care optometry and low vision rehabilitation with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in June 2012 and earned a Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry in October 2013.

1996 Bachelor of Science degree in biology, South Dakota State University
2001 Doctor of Optometry degree, Southern California College of Optometry
2008 Squadron Officer School, Non-residence
2008 Aviation and Special Duty PRK Certification Course, San Antonio, Texas
2011 Air Command and Staff College, Non-residence
2012 VA Residency in Primary Care Optometry and Low Vision Rehabilitation, Palo Alto, Calif.
2016 Intermediate Executive Skills Course, San Antonio, Texas
2016 Biomedical Sciences Executive Green Belt Training, San Antonio, Texas

2013 Fellow, American Academy of Optometry

1. September 2007 – September 2009, Chief, Aerospace Optometry, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
2. September 2009 – June 2011, Chief, Operational Optometry, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
3. June 2011 – July 2012, AFIT Optometry Resident, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, Calif.
4. July 2012 – July 2015, Optometry Flight Commander, MacDill AFB, Florida
5. July 2015 – Present, Optometry Flight Commander/Biomedical Sciences Corps Executive, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan

Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal

2008 Company Grade Officer of the Quarter (3), 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, MacDill AFB, Florida
2008 Company Grade Officer of the Year, 6th Medical Group, MacDill AFB, Florida
2009 USAF Colonel P Timothy Ray CGO Optometrist of the Year Award, USAFE
2010 Company Grade Officer of the Quarter, 48th Medical Group, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
2010 USAF Colonel P Timothy Ray CGO Optometrist of the Year Award, USAFE
2016 Armed Forces Optometric Society Air Force Senior Optometrist of the Year Award

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
Member, American Optometric Association
Member, Armed Forces Optometric Society

2007-2009 Adjunct Clinical Professor, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
2012-2015 Adjunct Clinical Professor, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
2012-2015 Adjunct Clinical Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Capt December 22, 2004
Major July 01, 2010
Lt Col November 01, 2017

Printer-Friendly Version