JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
In a time-honored Army ritual, Col. (Dr.) Shawn C. Nessen relinquished command of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research to Col. (Dr.) Jerome L. Buller during a change of command ceremony July 19 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
Buller took command of the USAISR when he received the flag from his new commanding general and ceremonial host, Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb, commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland.
During her remarks, Holcomb commended Nessen’s family for their support, which permitted his success by allowing his staff to flourish in combat casualty care research.
“He subscribes to the philosophy of sharing knowledge and information and not keeping it for himself, but passing it on, so others can succeed,” Holcomb said. “He believes in allowing the experts to solve problems. That coupled with his care for both Soldiers and civilians he works alongside are some of the reasons why he is a successful leader.”
“Maj. Gen. Holcomb, thank you for your tireless advocacy for this Institute and for your continued surgical research as part of the Army mission,” Nessen said during his remarks. He is also the trauma consultant to the Army Surgeon General. “Thank you for your leadership and mentorship, and for helping when I needed help, and for trusting me with command of the USAISR.”
Nessen is transferring to Brooke Army Medical Center, collocated with the USAISR, where he will serve as a trauma surgeon.
“Col. Buller, the USAISR will be magnificent under your command,” Nessen said. “Your leadership, surgical experience and the wisdom you bring to the job will be appreciated by all. With this great team, you will lead this fine Institute to new levels of accomplishment.”
“Col. Nessen, your work here has been nothing short of spectacular,” Buller said after taking command of the USAISR. “Through your leadership, the team has accomplished much to keep the USAISR at the forefront of trauma and burn research on a worldwide stage. Your passion for taking care of our Warfighters and your drive to ensure our combat wounded have the best chance to survive, is palpable and it is admirable. I share your passion and will work hard to carry on the great work you started here at the USAISR.”
Buller comes from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was as the USU brigade commander.
“To the USAISR team, your reputation is astonishing and your research is world-renowned,” Buller added. “Your work has saved thousands of lives on the battlefield and it has carried over to the civilian sector where it continues to save lives every day across the world.”
Holcomb ended her remarks by welcoming Buller and his family to the USAISR and San Antonio.
“Your most recent position as the brigade commander at the Uniformed Service University was a great prep for the USAISR,” she said. “Your capacity for understanding complex challenges and initiating practical and inclusive approaches to overcome them will be useful here.
“I know firsthand about how well you understand the strategic communication and the importance of telling your story and getting the word out – a skill that will continue to recognize the USAISR as the face for burn and trauma care.”