Bruce MacDonald is a retired United States Navy vice admiral who last served as the 40th Judge Advocate General of the Navy from July 2006 to August 2009. Prior to that, Vice Admiral MacDonald served as the Navy's Deputy Judge Advocate General from November 2004 to July 2006. On July 2, 2008, then Rear Admiral MacDonald was nominated for appointment to the grade of vice admiral while serving as the Navy's Judge Advocate General. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2008 and was promoted to grade on August 4, 2008, becoming the first JAG to be a three-star flag officer.
Vice Admiral MacDonald graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and entered the Navy in May of that year.
Vice Admiral MacDonald was commissioned an ensign in the unrestricted line through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Following the normal Surface Warfare pipeline, he reported to the USS HEPBURN (FF 1055) in October 1979 where he served as Main Propulsion Assistant and Navigator.
After a two-year tour at Fleet Combat Training Center, Pacific where he served as Intermediate Combat Systems Team Training and Advanced Multi-Threat Team Training course director, he was selected for the Law Education Program in 1984. He received his degree of Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in 1987.
In 1987, Vice Admiral MacDonald reported to Naval Legal Service Office San Diego where he served as Senior Defense Counsel, Trial Counsel, and Medical Care Recovery Act Claims Officer. In 1990, he reported aboard USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) as the Command Judge Advocate. After receiving a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1992, he was transferred to Seoul, Korea, where he served as Chief, Operational Law Division, on the staffs of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea. He also served as Staff Judge Advocate on the staff of United States Naval Forces Korea.
In August 1994, Vice Admiral MacDonald reported aboard Naval Legal Service Office Northwest as its Executive Officer. In November 1996, he became the Officer in Charge of Trial Service Office West Detachment Bremerton, Washington. In July 1997, he reported to Commander Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan as the Fleet Judge Advocate. Vice Admiral MacDonald assumed command of Naval Legal Service Office Northwest in August 1999, serving as commanding officer until June 2002. He was assigned to the Pentagon as the Special Counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations from June 2002 through October 2004. In November 2004, Vice Admiral MacDonald became the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command. In July 2006, Vice Admiral MacDonald assumed duties as Judge Advocate General of the Navy. He retired from the Navy in 2009.
In March, 2010, MacDonald was appointed to the Senior Executive Service by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, serving for three years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He joined Applied Technical Systems, a data analytics, management and software development services company, in April 2013, where he currently serves as its President and Chief Operating Officer.