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Surgeon (1842-1844)
William Paul Crillon Barton (1786-1846) was the first Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Although he was the first Chief BUMED, he was not the first Surgeon General, as that title was not established until 1871. Dr. Barton's many accomplishments as Chief include advocating increased sick bay spaces aboard ship, proposing higher physical standards for naval recruits, and standardizing medical supplies and equipment. Barton is known as the father of naval hospitals.
SGPast ChiefWilliam P.C. Barton42/Past%20Leaders/Barton_a.jpg
  
Surgeon (1844-1853)
Thomas Harris (1784-1861) was a surgeon during the War of 1812, participating in the battle between USS Wasp and HMS Frolic. He also served with Stephen Decatur fighting the Barbary pirates. Dr. Harris organized and conducted a medical postgraduate school in Philadelphia, the first American school to provide instruction in naval medicine and the precursor of the Naval Medical School. As the second Chief BUMED, Dr. Harris encouraged high standards for physicians admitted to the Navy, and helped systematize the production and procurement of drugs and dressings for the Medical Department.
SGPast ChiefThomas Harris56/Past%20Leaders/Harris_a.jpg
  
Surgeon (1853-1865)
William Whelan (1808-1865) was commissioned a surgeon's mate in the Navy in 1828. He later became Fleet Surgeon of the Mediterranean Squadron and also served aboard the USS Falmouth in the Pacific. Appointed Chief BUMED in 1853, he served until 1865, the longest tenure of anyone occupying that position before or since. He directed the Medical Department through the Civil War during which several new naval hospitals were commissioned as well as the Red Rover, the first U.S. Navy hospital ship. Dr. Whelan died in office.
SGPast ChiefWilliam Whelan55/Past%20Leaders/Whelan_a.jpg
  
Assistant Surgeon(1865-1869)
Phineas Jonathan Horwitz (1822-1904) joined the Navy in 1847 during the Mexican War. Commended by Commodore M.C. Perry, he directed the temporary naval hospital at Tobasco, Mexico. Dr. Horwitz became Assistant Chief BUMED in 1859 serving in that office throughout the Civil War. He was appointed Chief BUMED in 1865 upon the death of William Whelan. After leaving the Bureau in 1869, Horwitz directed the Naval Hospital at Philadelphia, served at the Naval Asylum in that city, and acted as President of the Medical Examining Board. He became Medical Director (comparable to captain) in 1873.
SGPast ChiefPhineas J. Horwitz54/Past%20Leaders/Horwitz_a.jpg
  
Surgeon (1869-1871)
William Maxwell Wood (1809-1880) was commissioned an assistant surgeon in the Navy in 1829. After a colorful and varied service, Dr. Wood served as Fleet Surgeon for a blockading squadron during the Civil War. President Grant appointed him Chief BUMED in 1869. During Wood's administration, the Naval Appropriations Act of 3 March 1871 was passed grouping medical officers in a separate and distinct staff corps with grades established by law. This act also prescribed the title of Surgeon General, which Dr. Wood assumed, along with the rank of commodore. Surgeons General of the U.S. Navy
SGPast ChiefWilliam M. Wood49/Past%20Leaders/Wood_a.jpg
  
Commodore (1869-1871)
William Maxwell Wood (1809-1880) was commissioned an assistant surgeon in the Navy in 1829. After a colorful and varied service, Dr. Wood served as Fleet Surgeon for a blockading squadron during the Civil War. President Grant appointed him Chief BUMED in 1869. During Wood's administration, the Naval Appropriations Act of 3 March 1871 was passed grouping medical officers in a separate and distinct staff corps with grades established by law. This act also prescribed the title of Surgeon General, which Dr. Wood assumed, along with the rank of commodore. Surgeons General of the U.S. Navy
SGPast SGWilliam M. Wood49/Past%20Leaders/Wood_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1871-1872)
Jonathan Messersmith Foltz (1810-1877) was commissioned an assistant surgeon in the Navy in 1830. After seeing action aboard USS Potomac in the East Indies, he became a friend and advisor to President James Buchanan. Dr. Foltz served as Fleet Surgeon with Admiral Farragut during the Civil War and took part in the Mississippi River campaign which saw the capture of New Orleans and the fall of Vicksburg. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1871, serving until 1872.
SGPast SGJonathan M. Foltz48/Past%20Leaders/Foltz_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1872-1873)
James Croxall Palmer (1811-1883) joined the Navy in 1834. He served as assistant surgeon first aboard USS Brandywine and then USS Vincennes during its circumnavigation of the globe. He accompanied the Wilkes Exploring Expedition to the Antarctic (1838-1842). He later was surgeon aboard USS Niagara when that vessel helped lay the first Atlantic Cable. During the Civil War Dr. Palmer was Fleet Surgeon of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and was with Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay. He became Surgeon General in 1872 and served until his retirement a year later.
SGPast SGJames C. Palmer19/Past%20Leaders/Palmer_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1873-1877)
Joseph Beale (1814-1889) was appointed an assistant surgeon in the Navy in 1837. After serving aboard USS John Adams in the suppression of the slave trade on the African coast, he was promoted to surgeon. He saw action in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and the Mississippi River campaign during the Civil War. Following the war, Dr. Beale became Fleet Surgeon of the Asiatic Squadron. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1873, and during his tenure a volume of Sanitary and Medical Reports was published, a document that later evolved into the Annual Reports of the Surgeon General.
SGPast SGJoeseph Beale33/Past%20Leaders/Beale_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1877-1878)
William Grier (1818-1911) emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland as a child, and was appointed assistant surgeon at age 20 in 1838. He first served at sea aboard USS Cyane, at the Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, and then with the North Pacific Squadron. During the Civil War Dr. Grier was attached to several vessels and a temporary naval hospital at Memphis, TN. He became Surgeon General in 1877 and retired in 1878. His 93-year life span witnessed every administration from President Monroe to President Taft, the railroad, telegraph, telephone, steam propulsion, and the transition from wood and sail to the all steel Navy.
SGPast SGWilliam Grier45/Past%20Leaders/Grier_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1878-1879)
J. Winthrop Taylor (1817-1880) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1838. During his early naval career he served at sea and was promoted to surgeon in 1852. During the Civil War he participated in Farragut's capture of New Orleans and was involved in the Mississippi River campaign. He became Surgeon General in 1878, a post he held for 10 months. During his administration, Dr. Taylor succeeded in getting a bill through Congress appointing apothecaries as warrant officers in the Navy. He also sponsored a study of the Navy ration, and developed a revised book of instructions for medical officers, the forerunner of the Manual of the Medical Department.
SGPast SGJ. Winthrop Taylor20/Past%20Leaders/Taylor_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1879-1884)
Philip S. Wales (1834-1906) became an assistant surgeon in 1856 and was assigned to the East India Squadron. During the Civil War he saw duty aboard two warships and at the Norfolk Naval Hospital. Dr. Wales became Surgeon General in 1879. He founded the Museum of Naval Hygiene which, when later united with the naval laboratory and Department of Instruction, became the prototype of the Naval Medical School. During his term a subordinate embezzled Navy funds and Dr. Wales was court martialed and found guilty for "neglect of duty and culpable inefficiency in the performance of duty." Although SECNAV declared that no evidence existed of any corrupt act or motive on Wales' part, the unfortunate man lived out the rest of his years in disgrace.
SGPast SGPhilip S. Wales34/Past%20Leaders/Wales_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1884-1888)
Francis M. Gunnell (1827-1922) was appointed assistant surgeon by President Zachary Taylor in1849. He served in the Pacific Squadron and, during the Civil War, was attached to the North and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons and to the Washington Naval Hospital. He became Surgeon General in 1884. During his term a naval hospital at Widows Island, ME, was commissioned which accommodated yellow fever patients until 1903. He retired from active duty in 1889, but performed special duty at BUMED for three months. He later came back for additional duty at age 80.
SGPast SGFrancis M. Gunnell35/Past%20Leaders/Gunnell_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1888-1893)
James Mills Browne (1831-1893) became an assistant surgeon in 1853. His first duty was on a store ship in San Francisco and second duty was as the first medical officer at the Mare Island Navy Yard. He was later attached to the African Squadron engaged in suppression of the slave trade. As senior medical officer of USS Kearsarge, during the Civil War, Dr. Browne witnessed the sinking of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama. In 1883 he became the first director of the Naval Museum of Hygiene. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1888 and during his term the new steel Navy saw many innovations. Habitability became a top priority in the form of better ventilation, heating, lighting, berthing spaces, refrigeration, and larger improved sick bays.
SGPast SGJames M. Browne36/Past%20Leaders/Browne_a.jpg
  
Commodore(1893-1897)
James Rufus Tryon (1837-1912) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1863 and joined the West Gulf Squadron. Following the Civil War, he served as an assistant to the Surgeon General and on the Asiatic Station he supervised a smallpox hospital at Yokohama. He also directed construction of the Yokohama Naval Hospital in 1872. Dr. Tryon became Surgeon General in 1893. During his tenure he revived and renamed the Naval Laboratory and Department of Instruction. As a great visionary, Tryon emphasized hygiene and preventive medicine, advocated a medical supply depot, suggested establishment of a hospital corps, promoted construction of more hospitals, and proposed giving medical officers higher rank. Fulfillment of his progressive ideas came in later administrations.
SGPast SGJames R. Tryon26/Past%20Leaders/Tryon_a.jpg
  
Commodore(Oct 1897 - Oct 1897)
Newton L. Bates (1838-1897) joined the Navy in 1861 as an assistant surgeon. His first assignment was at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital followed by duty with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and later the Mississippi Squadron. He then served at the U.S. Naval Laboratory in New York, the forerunner of the Naval Laboratory and Department of Instruction, which respectively became the Naval Medical School (1902) and the Naval Medical Supply Depot (1906). Dr. Bates then had extensive sea duty and commanded the Naval Hospital in Yokohama. After serving at the Naval Museum of Hygiene, he became Surgeon General on 1 October 1888. Ill when appointed by his close personal friend, President McKinley, he died 17 days later.
SGPast SGNewton L. Bates39/Past%20Leaders/Bates_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1897-1902)
William Knickerbocker Van Reypen (1840-1920) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1861. During the Civil War he served in the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. Later assignments included duty with the European Squadron and Asiatic Station, and service at the naval hospitals in Chelsea, Norfolk, Annapolis, and Brooklyn. He became Surgeon General in 1897 and led the Medical Department during the Spanish-American War. To serve the troops in Cuba, the hospital ship, USS Solace, originally the steamer SS Creole of the Cromwell line, was fitted out in 16 days. During Dr. Van Reypen's administration, the Hospital Corps (1898) and increased rank for medical officers came about as well as the commissioning of naval hospitals at Newport, RI, Sitka, AK, Port Royal, SC, and Cavite, PI.
SGPast SGWilliam K. Van Reypen29/Past%20Leaders/Van Reypen_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1902-1910)
Presley Marion Rixey (1852-1928) was commissioned an assistant surgeon in 1874. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1902 and his tenure was filled with achievements. New naval hospitals were built at Puget Sound, WA, Canacao, PI, Las Animas, CO, Great Lakes, IL, and Guam. Dr. Rixey doubled the size of the Medical Corps and moved the Naval Medical School to Washington in 1902. He sent officers abroad to study tropical medicine and to civilian institutions for specialized study. The Navy Nurse Corps was founded in 1908, and a second hospital ship USS Relief was fitted out to support President Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" on its around-the-world cruise. He served Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt as personal physician and, as the latter's close confidante, had great influence on the political scene.
SGPast SGPresley M. Rixley44/Past%20Leaders/Rixley_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1910-1914)
Charles Francis Stokes (1863-1931) joined the Navy in 1889 as an assistant surgeon. During the Spanish-American War he served as a surgeon on USS Solace, and later was professor of surgery at the Naval Medical School. As commander of the hospital ship USS Relief, the first medical officer ever to do so, he ignited a controversy that shook up the senior Navy leadership. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1910. He is best known for his invention of the Stokes stretcher, still in use, which proved of great value used in the close confines of ships. He raised the professional standards of the Medical Corps, instituted prophylaxis which practically ended typhoid in the Navy, planned and built the naval hospital at Pearl Harbor, and initiated planning for two new hospital ships USS Mercy and USS Relief.
SGPast SGCharles F. Stokes24/Past%20Leaders/Stokes_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1914-1920)
William Clarence Braisted (1864-1941) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1890 and served at sea aboard several vessels before having shore duty at several naval hospitals and shore stations. Twice he was an instructor in surgery at the Naval Medical School. In 1906, as Assistant Chief BUMED, Dr. Braisted was in charge of reorganizing the Bureau. For a year, in the absence of the Surgeon General, he served as Attending Physician to President Roosevelt. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1914 and, during his tenure, was responsible for the establishment of special training schools for the Hospital Corps and the building of the hospital ship USS Relief, the only vessel ever designed as such.
SGPast SGWilliam C. Braisted25/Past%20Leaders/Braisted_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1920-1928)
Edward Rhodes Stitt (1867-1948) joined the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1889. After several sea tours, he practiced medicine at the Norfolk Naval Hospital. After the U.S. became a colonial power acquiring several island possessions, Dr. Stitt made notable contributions to the field of tropical medicine. He later taught the subject at the newly founded Naval Medical School. He assumed command of the school and served there during World War I, and was awarded the Navy Cross for his exceptionally meritorious service. He became Surgeon General in 1920. During his term aviation medicine became a specialty. RADM Stitt's two textbooks, Practical Bacteriology, Hematology, and Animal Parasitology, and Diagnosis and Treatment of Tropical Diseases made him internationally renowned.
SGPast SGEdward R. Stitt40/Past%20Leaders/Stitt_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1928-1933)
Charles Edward Riggs (1869-1963) entered the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1898. First assigned to the Mare Island Hospital, he then served at sea and aboard a gunboat during the Spanish-American War. Dr. Riggs was then a medical officer with the Marine Guard at the American Legation in Peking, China, and he became Fleet Surgeon of the Atlantic Fleet in 1917. He was appointed Medical Officer in Command of the Washington Naval Hospital in 1927. Dr. Riggs became Surgeon General in 1929. His term was devoted to improved training, the building and renovation of hospitals, and the planning for a new naval medical center.
SGPast SGCharles E. Riggs37/Past%20Leaders/Riggs_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1933-1938)
Percival Sherer Rossiter (1874-1957) served in the Army in Cuba and the Philippines before joining the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1903. After studying at the Naval Medical School he served in Honolulu, at the Naval Academy, and then in Tutuila, Samoa. Following duty afloat, he served in World War I at Base Hospital No. 2 in Scotland. Following the war, Dr. Rossiter was medical officer with the Marines in San Diego, and then Medical Member or the U.S. Naval Mission to Brazil. He was then in command of the Brooklyn Naval Hospital and later the Washington Naval Hospital until his appointment as Surgeon General in 1933. He was the first Surgeon General to accompany the Fleet on extensive maneuvers, and was instrumental in planning for the new National Naval Medical Center.
SGPast SGPercival S. Rossitter27/Past%20Leaders/Rossiter_a.jpg
  
Vice Admiral(1938-1946)
Ross T. McIntire (1889-1959) entered the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1917. After serving aboard ship during the Allied intervention in the Bolshevik revolution, he was assigned to an overseas naval hospital, and also served on the USS Relief. He also saw duty at the Washington Naval Hospital. In 1933 he became White House physician, and in 1938 was appointed Surgeon General. With the outbreak of World War II, Dr. McIntire played a dual role. He had primary responsibility for the health of the President, traveling with him on diplomatic missions and military inspection trips. He also presided over the largest Navy Medical Department in history. VADM McIntire led over 175,000 physicians, dentists, nurses, and corpsmen in the war effort.
SGPast SGRoss T. McIntire41/Past%20Leaders/Ross McIntire_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1946-1951)
Clifford Anders Swanson (1901-1984) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1925. He served in varied assignments at home, abroad, and aboard ship. While an instructor at the Naval Medical School, he researched night and color vision and the effects of pressure and oxygen consumption on the eye. During World War II, Dr. Swanson was senior medical officer on USS Iowa. As an operating surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center, Dr. Swanson performed pioneering eye surgery. He accompanied President Roosevelt to the Teheran Conference and was with the Congressional Committee that inspected the Pacific War area. He became Surgeon General in 1946. During his tenure he sponsored legislation that made the Nurse Corps a permanent staff Corps, and established the Medical Service Corps.
SGPast SGClifford A. Swanson43/Past%20Leaders/Swanson_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1951-1955)
Herbert Lamont Pugh (1895-1984) was commissioned a lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps in 1923. He progressed through the various grades and made a name for himself as a skilled surgeon and teacher. Following Pearl Harbor, Dr. Pugh went to Hawaii and was instrumental in treating many of the seriously injured from that attack. He was appointed Deputy Surgeon General in 1946 and was also commanding officer of the Naval Medical School. RADM Pugh became Surgeon General in 1951 during the height of the Korean War and was the first Surgeon General ever to visit an active war zone. Following his term, Dr. Pugh was Inspector General, Medical and commanding officer of the National Naval Medical Center. He authored an autobiography, Navy Surgeon in 1959.
SGPast SGH. Lamont Pugh16/Past%20Leaders/Pugh_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1955-1961)
Bartholomew William Hogan (1901-1983) was appointed a lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps in 1925. In 1942, as senior medical officer aboard USS Wasp, he received the Silver Star for heroic service following the torpedoing of the carrier by the Japanese. In 1942-43 he had charge of establishing the V-12 medical and dental programs, and later was commanding officer of the Naval Medical School and Naval Hospital, Bethesda. He was appointed Deputy Surgeon General in 1954 and a year later became Surgeon General. President Eisenhower reappointed him in 1959. During his tenure, he instituted important policy changes which made Navy medicine more attractive as a career.
SGPast SGBartholomew W. Hogan51/Past%20Leaders/Hogan_a.jpg
  
Rear Admiral(1961-1965)
Edward Christopher Kenney (1904-1983) was appointed assistant surgeon with the rank of lieutenant (jg) in 1929. He served at many naval stations, and on battleships, destroyers, at naval hospitals, and with the Marines. He participated in the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 and was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism. He participated in penicillin research during the early days of its clinical investigation. He then participated in the landings on Guam, Leyte, and Lingayen Gulf. Following the war, Dr. Kenney became commanding officer of the National Naval Medical Center. In 1959 he became Deputy and Assistant Chief BUMED and was appointed Surgeon General in 1961. During his term, RADM Kenney promoted advances in medical research and in submarine, aviation, and preventive medicine.
SGPast SGEdward C. Kenney22/Past%20Leaders/Kenney_a.jpg
  
Vice Admiral(1965-1969)
Robert Bruce Brown (1908-1973) reported for active duty in 1942 and reported to Naval Hospital, Philadelphia. He served aboard USS Solace and reported in 1943 as Chief of Surgery at Naval Hospital, Annapolis. In 1945 he became Chief of Surgery aboard USS Tranquillity. During the Korean War he joined USS Repose. For his action, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He assumed command of Naval Hospital, Bethesda and, in 1962, became CO of the National Naval Medical Center. In 1964 Dr. Brown became Deputy and Assistant Chief BUMED. As Surgeon General, he oversaw the medical requirements supporting forces deployed to Vietnam. He also promoted medical research, critical training in critical specialties and combat medicine, and the construction of new and replacement medical facilities.
SGPast SGRobert B. Brown23/Past%20Leaders/Brown_a.jpg
  
Vice Admiral(1969-1973)
George Monroe Davis (1916-2004) joined the Navy in 1939. During World War II, Dr. Davis participated in the battles for Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. During his post-war service, he was Chief of Medical Service at Naval Hospital, Annapolis and became Chief of Medicine aboard the hospital ship USS Haven during the Korean War. While CO of Naval Hospital, Bethesda, he also assumed command of the National Naval Medical Center. He became Deputy Surgeon General in 1968 and Surgeon General a year later. During his term, he managed the Medical Department during the latter stages of the Vietnam War, maintained the Department's support of wartime medical requirements, and increased support of health care for family and retirees. He also obtained flag rank for the Nurse Corps.
SGPast SGGeorge M. Davis31/Past%20Leaders/Davis_a.jpg
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