JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
Maj. Gen. Steve Jones assumed the duties of U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School commanding general from interim commander, Col. Randall Anderson, during a change of command ceremony Sept. 19 at the Medal of Honor Walk at the Army Medical Department Museum.
The same day, Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Ecker assumed the senior enlisted responsibilities from interim Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Walls.
The dual ceremony was hosted by Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, Army deputy surgeon general and deputy commanding general for operations, U.S. Army Medical Command.
"We have no better leader in Army medicine than Maj. Gen. Steve Jones," Lein said. "He comes with an impeccable resume of command and leadership roles for the Army and Army Medicine.
"Col. Randy Anderson is stepping down from an outstanding performance as an interim commander," Rein added.
"Who would have thought when he took command we would have an active shooter incident, civilian furloughs and all of the other challenges that have fallen in his lap."
"The opportunity to command this organization, even for one day, is one of the greatest honors a leader can have," said Anderson, who will now serve as AMEDDC&S chief of staff.
"The great military and civilian employees of the AMEDDC&S have an essential mission, contributing to saving lives on the battlefield and in our treatment facilities. They do this mission expertly each and every day, no matter what challenges we throw at them."
Jones most recently served as commander of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical. Born at Fort McPherson, Ga., he graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1974 and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1978.
Jones completed his training in internal medicine and cardiology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and American College of Physicians.
"It's truly humbling to be a part of an organization that's responsible for saving so many lives on the battlefield," Jones said.
Jones also acknowledged Anderson for his leadership and contributions to Army Medicine.
"You made this a very easy transition for me," he said.
Lein also thanked Walls for stepping up as interim command sergeant major. Walls is the commandant for the Noncommissioned Officers Academy.
"Your reputation precedes you," Lein said of Ecker, formerly from Army Public Health Command. "Your leadership of Soldiers is well known throughout the Army. You bring your right skills, attributes and values to this organization. Mold the Soldiers and leaders to your likeness and we will be much better off as an Army and as an Army Medical Department."
"The AMEDDC&S is a unique and special place," Ecker said upon assuming senior enlisted responsibility for AMEDDC&S.
"This institution is an effective force generator that produces competent medical operators of various medical arts, develops tactical medical units, sound doctrine and equipment that provides the medical service platforms or people, concepts and things, with the task and purpose of securing the well-being and saving the precious lives of our country's sons and daughters."
"I understand that the effectiveness of this great institution does not happen by accident," Ecker added.
"It happens through a collective stewardship, ownership and by being well led. I understand my role in this equation as your command sergeant major and I will soldier more than my share of the task wherever I may be - 100 percent - and then some."