The airline said the flight had to return to the gate before takeoff due to a "customer illness".
The Surgeon General tweeted about his experience, saying "They asked if there was a Doctor on board to help with a medical emergency", he wrote.
After tweeting about the incident, Adams added in a Facebook post that he was one of three medical professionals on board the flight who helped the patient.
Delta said in a statement Adams intervened when a passenger became ill.
Since the tweet, a Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed that Adams and two nurses responded and were able to revive the patient, who was sent to a hospital and is now "doing well".
The surgeon general oversees the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a group of more than 6,700 uniformed officer public health professionals. He also went on to thank the "doctors, nurses, and techs who step up each and every day to respond to emergencies on flights".
An anesthesiologist, Adams was previously Indiana's health commissioner, and in recent years is best known for his response to an HIV outbreak that left 181 people infected in a rural in county.
"Hello, Wow! We certainly thank you for volunteering as well as your service".
The vice admiral, an anesthesiologist, was traveling to MS for a panel discussion on opioid abuse, ABC News reported. Adams said he alerted the attendants that he was indeed a doctor and assisted in the medical emergency.