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Donald F Hagen
Donald F. Hagen (1991 - 1994)

Donald F. Hagen

(Surgeon General: 1991 to 1995)

VADM Hagen became the thirty-first Surgeon General of the Navy and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, on 28 June 1991.

A native of Williston, ND, VADM Hagen received his B.A. degree in 1959 from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and began medical education at the University of North Dakota. In 1961 he transferred to Northwestern University, receiving his medical degree in 1963. Following completion of his internship at Los Angeles County General Hospital, he was commissioned in the Navy in 1964.

After completing Field Service School at Camp Pendleton, CA, VADM Hagen served as a battalion surgeon with the Marine Corps in Vietnam, followed by a tour of duty with Fleet Marine Force Headquarters, HI. Beginning in 1966, he served as a general medical officer (GMO) aboard the hospital ship USS Repose (AH 16) off the coast of Vietnam. Following his assignment as a GMO at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, he returned to Vietnam, serving as staff surgeon with the Navy’s Riverine Assault Forces, Mekong Delta.

He completed his surgical residency in 1973 at the Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA, and then had a series of assignments as Chief of Surgical Services at the Naval Aerospace and Regional Medical Center, Pensacola, FL; the U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan; and the Naval Regional Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL. In 1981 he reported as Director of the Contingency Planning Division at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, DC. He then became the Director of the Medical Education and Training Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

During VADM Hagen’s July 1984 to September 1986 tour as Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, CA, he was selected for promotion to flag rank. Returning to Washington, DC, he served as Director, Health Care Operations Division, in the Office of the Surgeon General of the Navy. In August 1988, he became the Deputy Commander for Health Care Operations, Naval Medical Command, and Chief of the Navy Medical Corps. He served as Commander of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, from 2 December 1988 to 4 June 1991.

VADM Hagen’s military awards include: the Legion of Merit (three awards); Bronze Star with Combat V; Meritorious Service Medal (two awards); Combat Action Ribbon; and several other personal and campaign awards.

VADM Hagen is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He has also received the American Hospital Association’s “Federal Health Care Executive Award of Excellence.” The Admiral is also a Delegate to the American Medical Association and an Alternate Delegate to the American Hospital Association; a member of the Board of Regents for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the National Library of Medicine; an Executive Board member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States; a member of the Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces; and a Board of Governors’ member for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute.


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P.C. Barton (1842 - 1844) Thomas Harris (1844 - 1853) William Whelan (1853 - 1865) Phineas J. Horwitz (1865 - 1869)
William M. Wood (1869 - 1871) Jonathan M. Foltz (1871 - 1872) James C. Palmer (1872 - 1873) Joseph Beale (1873 - 1877) James M. Browne (1888 - 1893) William Grier (1877 - 1878) J. Winthrop Taylor (1878 - 1879) Philip S. Wales (1879 - 1884) Francis M. Gunnell (1884 - 1888) James R. Tryon (1893 - 1897) Newton L. Bates (1 October 1897 - 18 October 1897) William K. Van Reypen (1897 - 1902) Presley M. Rixey (1902 - 1910)
Charles F. Stokes (1910 - 1914) William C. Braisted (1914 - 1920) Edward R. Stitt (1920 - 1928) Charles E. Riggs (1928 - 1933) Percival S. Rossiter (1933 - 1938) Ross T. McIntire (1938 - 1946) Clifford A. Swanson (1946 - 1951) H. Lamont Pugh (1951 - 1955) Bartholomew W. Hogan (1955 - 1961) Edward C. Kenney (1961 - 1965) Robert B. Brown (1965 - 1969) George M. Davis (1969 - 1973) Donald L. Custis (1973 - 1976)
Willard P. Arentzen (1976 - 1980) J. William Cox (1980 - 1983) Lewis H Seaton (1983-1987) James Zimble (1987-1990) Donald F Hagen (1991-1994)   Harold M. Koenig (1995 - 1998) Richard A. Nelson (1998 - 2001) Michael L. Cowan (2001 - 2004) Donald C. Arthur (2004 - 2007) Adam M Robinson (Present)

Additional information on the Chief of the Bureau and Surgeons General can be found in the Surgeon General Collection in the BUMED Library and Archives.