JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General, assumed responsibility as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command June 24 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in a socially-distanced virtual ceremony hosted by Gen. James C. McConville, Army Chief of Staff.
Dingle was previously confirmed as the U.S. Army Surgeon General, but due to the transition of medical facilities in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, he was not confirmed as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command as its mission was slated to be divested.
“My commitment is that Army Medicine from the foxhole to the fixed facility will be ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive and relevant,” Dingle said. “The most powerful Army in the world will have in parallel, the medical force to support its mission.”
According to Dingle, there is a continuing need for Army Medicine to support Army readiness so MEDCOM is here to stay.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Army Medicine has supported Operation Warp Speed in the whole-of-government approach to vaccine and research development and distribution; expanded the COVID-19 testing capacity and capability; executed installation pandemic emergency preparation and expansion plans; deployed field hospitals and hospital centers in support of our American citizens; balanced the rapid deployment of over 400 medical assigned personnel; ensured health care professionals readiness to care for the beneficiary population; brought over 160 retiree recalls into the medical force; and provided public health preventive measures, information and education.
“We are developing medical countermeasures; strengthening medical logistics and sustainment; creating Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces in support of our nation; and providing medical personnel to support Health and Human Services, FEMA, Warp Speed, and the Department of Defense,” Dingle said. “All the while not losing sight that there are forces deployed fighting and calling out ‘medic’ on the battlefield. They are counting on us to conserve the fighting strength.”
“It’s not uncommon to associate Soldiers with the word ‘heroes,’ but normally we picture Soldiers jumping from the sky or storming the beaches of Normandy,” McConville said. “But for the better part of 2020, we have been in a war against COVID-19, and in this war, our heroes are our doctors, nurses, scientists, and our medical professionals. Our heroes are the soldiers in this command.”
McConville stated that Dingle’s leadership throughout the COVID-19 crisis, had been absolutely phenomenal, and he didn’t believe anyone could do it better.
“You are the right person at the right time in the right place,” McConville said.
Before closing, Dingle reassured McConville, “Chief, my iPhone is fully charged, my number is hot, ‘MEDCOM 6’ is back on the net, and Army Medicine is Army strong!”