Military Blood Banker

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Work (mostly walk) cemeteries in Bell and Harlan counties in Southeastern Kentucky two to three times a year. At times I will visit cemeteries in Knox and Whitley Counties in Southeastern Kentucky; Claiborne County in Northeastern Tennessee; Horry County in South Carolina; and Brunswick and Columbus Counties in North Carolina.

Bruce D. Rutherford

Graduated from Bell County High School, East Pineville, Bell County, KY.

Medical technology training at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital, Beckley, WVA and specialty in blood banking at Tri-Service Blood Bank Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

BS at Morehead State University and MBA in Health Care Administration from National University.


Captain, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy, Retired (CAPT, MSC, USN, Retired)

Entered the United States Navy in 1971 as a direct commissioned officer with the rank of Ensign. Duty stations included:

1971-1973, Laboratory Officer, U.S. Naval Hospital, Guam

1973-1976, Laboratory Officer and last six months as Personnel Officer, Naval Hospital, Port Hueneme, CA

1976-1977, The first Admin Officer; Naval Medical Research Unit #2 Detachment, Jakarta, Indonesia

1977-1979, Blood Donor Center Officer, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

1979-1980, Student, Blood Bank Fellowship, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

1980-1984, Blood Donor Center Officer; Blood Bank Officer; Senior Laboratory Officer, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA

1984-1986, Fourth Director, Joint Blood Program Office, U. S. Pacific Command; Component Command Blood Program Officer, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet; Area Joint Blood Program Officer, Okinawa Area; and Blood Donor Center Officer, U. S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan

1986-1988, Senior Laboratory Officer, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA

1988-1990, Director, Ancillary Services, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA

1990-1995, Seventh Head, Navy Blood Program, Washington, D.C.

1995-1999, 12th Director, Armed Services Blood Program, Falls Church, VA.

Served as a Department of Defense liaison to the Health and Human Services’ Blood Safety and Availability Committee, the Institute of Medicine’s Blood Safety Forum, and the American Association of Blood Banks’ Standards Committee and their Transfusion Transmitted Disease Committee.

Awards included: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (w/Star), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Overseas Service Ribbon (w/Star), National Defense Service Medal and Office of the Secretary of Defense Badge.

In 2013 awarded the Armed Services Blood Program's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2019 he established the Captain Bruce D. Rutherford Scholarship Endowment at Morehead State University for students in financial need from Bell and Harlan counties, Kentucky.


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