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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2022

232nd Medical Battalion welcomes new command sergeant major

By Jose E. Rodriguez U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs

The Soldier Medics of the 232nd Medical Battalion welcomed Command Sgt. Major Lori Ingram during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Army Medical Department Museum amphitheater at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Feb. 10.  

Ingram takes over for outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Chalawnda Kelley, who had been the battalion’s senior enlisted advisor for 29 months. Kelley transitions to her next unit of assignment at the Southern Europe Taskforce Africa in Vicenza, Italy, where she will serve as the SETAF Africa Inspector General sergeant major.

Ingram comes to the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence from the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence at Fort Bliss, Texas, where she served as the operations sergeant major.

The host for the ceremony was Lt. Col. Manuel Menendez, 232nd Medical Battalion commander. Also in attendance were Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster and Command Sgt. Maj. Clark Charpentier, the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence command team, along with Col. Marc Welde, commander of the 32nd Medical Brigade, and other distinguished guests.

“In the time she was here, Kelley helped this team of instructors and drill sergeants graduate more than 99% of its arrivals, a historic high and almost 15% higher than the average of the past 20 years, and saw more than 10,000 civilians leave here as combat medics. Thank you for carrying the weight for the past two-plus years,” Menendez said.

“Being that this is Black History Month, I feel it is only fitting to begin my speech with a quote from the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige,” Kelley said as she thanked people for their support. "I feel good, I feel great, man, I feel amazing, feel amazing, man I feel amazing.

“In true transparency, I've drafted several versions of this speech over the past few weeks and the constant theme that kept jumping out in each of those drafts was relationships, specifically how the positive impact of those countless relationships have helped me over the past 29 months,” Kelley added.

“To the officers, NCOs, Army civilian personnel, and Soldiers of the 232nd Medical Battalion, thank you to you and your family's dedication to the mission, and continued daily sacrifices,” Ingram said in accepting responsibility. “My promise to you is I will be a present leader, getting to know you and your families, and will always know the innate value you bring to our mission. Soldier Medic 7 signing on.”

The 232nd Medical Battalion is the largest training battalion in the U.S. Army, responsible for training 68W Combat Medics, the second-largest Military Operational Specialty in the U.S. Army, and one of four battalions under the 32nd Medical Brigade.