Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Engineer Professional Advisory Committee


Chief Engineer: 1995-1999

Thomas G. Gallegos, was born in Socorro, New Mexico in 1946. He spent 25 years in the uniformed services of the United States, 23 as a Commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, working primarily for the Indian Health Service. He served as the Chief Engineer of the PHS from 1995 to 1999.

Thomas Gallegos received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering at the New Mexico State University. His first professional post was as an U.S. Army engineering officer, which included service in Vietnam. That was followed by four years with a consulting engineering firm in Texas, working on water and wastewater treatment plant design. In 1974 he became an employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Gallup, New Mexico, working on general engineering design and construction of water supply and sewerage systems for American Indian Tribes. In 1974 he married Eliria Castro in Irving, Texas.

In 1977, he was commissioned as a PHS officer and assigned as the Chief of the Facilities Management Branch of the Navajo Area Indian Health Service (IHS) office in Window Rock, Arizona. In 1986 he transferred to IHS headquarters in Rockville to serve as director of the Facilities Planning and Construction Division, where he took responsibility for the nationwide facilities engineering and construction program for the American Indian and Alaska Natives during a time of extensive programmatic growth to the plan and construct many new Indian hospitals and clinics.

In 1991 he became director of the engineering services in the Regional Office of DHHS in Dallas, Texas with responsibilities for administering a facilities engineering and construction program for four DHHS regions related to health facilities of the Indian Health Service as well as programs for HRSA and several other Federal government agencies.

In 1995 Thomas G. Gallegos was appointed to serve as Chief Engineer of the PHS and promoted to Assistant Surgeon General with the rank of Rear Admiral (RADM). His responsibilities in that role included the enhancement of engineering within the PHS and the guidance of the overall professional activities of the engineer category within the Corps. RADM Gallegos noted that the highlight of this appointment was being able to meet the many outstanding engineers serving in the Public Health Service.

During his career, RADM Gallegos was awarded the PHS Commendation Medal, the PHS Meritorious Service Medal, the Juan Carlos Finlay Award (a leadership award presented by the Hispanic Officers Advisory Committee of the PHS), the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal and the Surgeon General’s Medallion. He retired from the PHS in 2000 and currently serves as an engineering consultant in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.


Page Last Modified on 12/15/2015

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