2 min read
By Ben Ford
On a hot summer morning in late July, at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the generals inspected the assembled troops, standing in formation.
A distant siren faded. Except for the buzz of insects and jets high overhead, silence had fallen over Blue and Gray Field where the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s (USAMRMC) Change of Command ceremony took place.
The ceremony had reached a stage rife with tradition and symbolism. Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Rogers presented the command’s colors to outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Brian C. Lein. With a deliberate turn, Lein passed the colors to his superior Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the U.S. Army Surgeon General, who held it firmly in her hands. With precision, she turned and gave the colors to Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb, who took it firmly with her hands. Holcomb turned on her heel and passed the colors back to Rogers.
The ceremony marked the start of a new commander while it paid homage to the continuity of the command. As the generals marched in line back to the reviewing stand, a slight smile of pride crossed Holcomb’s face as she passed her family and friends. The USAMRMC is a command filled with dedicated military and civilian researchers who strive to carry out the mission priorities of “Protect, Project, Sustain.” From researching new battlefield medical techniques and equipment to fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, USAMRMC is at the forefront of providing medical care to those who serve the Nation and the world.
Holcomb, Lein, West and the Soldiers who passed in review take great pride, and rightly so, in their work for USAMRMC. As an agency that provides contract support to the organization, A. Bright Idea assists the command’s public affairs office in a variety of ways, offering writing support for technical articles and speeches, as well as photography support and graphic design.
While ABI’s purple flag did not fly at the ceremony, our ‘Bright Lights” always feel a sense of pride knowing we provide assistance to those carrying out such important, lifesaving missions for the people of our country and around the world.
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Photos by Crystal Maynard, USAMRMC Public Affairs
Ben Ford writes for A. Bright Idea covering government and healthcare industries. He began his career in journalism working as a writer and later editor of several news publications. He has won numerous awards for his writing from the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association.