DONALD B. BAD MOCCASIN, P.E.
Assistant Surgeon General
Rear Admiral, USPHS (ret.)
Donald “Bruce” Bad Moccasin was born in Chamberlain, South Dakota in February 1949. A member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, his entire professional career has been serving American Indians and Alaska Natives while in the Bureau Indian Affairs (BIA) and as a U.S. Public Health Service Officer in the Indian Health Service (IHS).
Bruce Bad Moccasin attended the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where in 1972 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Thereafter, he was commissioned into the Army as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Army officer's school in Fort Belvior, Virginia. After three months active duty, he transferred to an Army reserve unit and began employment with the Bureau Indian Affairs in Aberdeen, South Dakota. From 1972 to 1976, he was a roads engineer and facilities management officer at the BIA Aberdeen Area Office and the BIA Winnebago Agency in Nebraska.
In February 1977, Bruce Bad Moccasin joined the USPHS Commissioned Corps as a design staff engineer for the IHS Sanitary Facilities Construction (SFC) Program located in Oklahoma City. There he was responsible for the design and construction of water and wastewater projects for Oklahoma Tribal communities. His next IHS assignment was with the SFC Program in Mobridge, South Dakota during 1979-1980 where he was responsible for water and wastewater construction projects for Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux reservations.
In August 1984, LCDR Bad Moccasin returned to the IHS Aberdeen Area Office to serve as the director of the facilities management program until August 1984. He was responsible for area-wide operation, maintenance, repair, remodeling and renovation of eight hospitals, seven health centers, and several health clinics and stations, and associated staff quarters in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. He also had responsibilities for planning the eventual replacement of the older hospitals and health centers. In August 1984, he was assigned as the Director, Office of Environmental Health, for the Aberdeen Area giving him new responsibilities for the SFC and Environmental Health Services programs until March 1989. He was promoted to Commander (CDR) in January 1985. In 1986 he received the Master of Science in civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering from the South Dakota School Mines and Technology. In March 1989 he was assigned to be the Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering in Aberdeen giving him the added responsibilities of the facilities management and clinical engineering programs for the entire IHS Aberdeen Area.
In January 1991, CDR Bad Moccasin was promoted to Captain (CAPT) and in April 1991 he was transferred to IHS Phoenix Area Office, Arizona, to serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Health. In February 1992 he became the Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. In this position CAPT Bad Moccasin was responsible for the sanitation facilities construction, environmental health services, facilities management, and clinic engineering programs in the IHS Phoenix Area until November 1993.
CAPT Bad Moccasin returned the Aberdeen, South Dakota as the IHS Aberdeen Area Director in November 1993. In this position he was responsible for all IHS programs in the Aberdeen Area, which included a comprehensive health care program consisting of primary, preventive, curative healthcare and the environmental health and the engineering programs. This 4-state health care system served 112,000 American Indians in 17 tribes and two urban Indian health programs with IHS direct and contracted services. These programs involved approximately 2,200 IHS staff with an annual operating budget exceeding $220 million. While in this position, he served as a member of the IHS Executive Leadership Group.
In recognition of his leadership and responsibilities, CAPT Bruce Bad Moccasin was promoted to Assistant Surgeon General with the rank of Rear Admiral (RADM) in January 1995. He was promoted to RADM (upper half) in August 1999.
RADM Bad Moccasin was a member of the Engineer Professional Advisory Committee (EPAC), and on the Surgeon General Koop’s Task Force on Commissioned Corps Revitalization. He was also the President of the Aberdeen Area Branch of the Commissioned Officers Association in 1988.
RADM Bad Moccasin is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the PHS Distinguished Service Medal, PHS Outstanding Service Medal, PHS Commendation Medal, and PHS Unit Commendation Medal. He retired from the IHS and active duty on January 1, 2002.
RADM (ret.) Bad Moccasin is a retired professional engineer in South Dakota. Bruce and his wife Rita reside in Pierre, South Dakota. They have three grandchildren; one grandson and two granddaughters.