JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
A ceremony steeped in rich Navy tradition took place Jan. 11 in front of one of Texas' most historic landmarks - the Alamo.
Navy Capt. Joel A. Roos assumed command of the Navy Medicine Training Support Center as Navy Capt. John D. Larderd retired after more than 35 years of service.
Rear Adm. William M. Roberts, commandant of the Medical Education and Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, provided welcoming remarks during the change of command ceremony.
"The NMTSC team will inherit a truly accomplished, experienced naval officer and leader in Capt. Joel Roos. He will absolutely build on the successes of Capt. Larnerd and the current team," Roberts said.
"You should be incredibly proud of your astonishing, accomplished, selfless career wearing the cloth of our nation," Roberts told Larnerd, thanking him for his leadership.
The Navy Medical Training Center was established at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Feb. 29, 2008 and consisted of five enlisted "C" schools and four officer programs. It has since grown to support 24 programs arriving from across the nation.
Today, the NMTSC has a staff of about 600, with an average daily population of 2,300 students. Over the last two years, NMTSC has supported training for more than 10,000 students.
During the change of command, Larnerd addressed his team.
"You guys have worked unbelievably hard and accomplished amazing things over the last two years," he said.
Larnerd said his team was highly motivated because there was no plan "B."
"Every challenge was met head on and dealt with effectively. We have not needed a plan "B" because the men and women of this command have done a fantastic job at accomplishing what so many saw as the impossible.
"It has been an honor to serve as your commanding officer. This has truly been the highlight of my career," he said thanking the staff for their hard work.
Roos thanked Larnerd for his service and assistance in preparing for his new assignment.
"I relish this challenge and the responsibility that I assume today," Roos said.
Following the change of command, a retirement ceremony was held for Larnerd.
Rear Adm. Larry Jackson, deputy commander of Military Sealift Command, praised Larnerd for his service.
"Today, I am here to pay witness and offer tribute to someone who has spent his life on the moral high ground while serving our Navy and our nation," Jackson said.
"You are a shining example to all those who have served with you," Jackson told Larnerd.
As Larnerd said an emotional goodbye, he thanked his family and wife, Debbie, for their support.
"There have been good times, there have been hard times, but frankly I can't think of anything I would have rather spent my life doing," Larnerd concluded before being piped ashore.