JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
History was made July 2 with an uncasing ceremony at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum Amphitheater on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston that officially established the Academy Brigade (Provisional), the Headquarters and Support Company (Provisional) and its subordinate units.
"Today’s ceremony marks another milestone in our transformation in support of Force 2025," said Maj. Gen. Steve Jones, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence, as he welcomed military leaders from throughout JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, as well as Soldiers, officers, friends, staff and faculty.
"The first was our designation as the United States Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence," Jones added. "There are many milestones yet to come as we demonstrate our commitment to providing the best military in the world with the best medical support possible."
Headquarters, Department of the Army, designated the AMEDDC&S as the Army’s Health Readiness Center of Excellence Feb. 19. As an Army Health Readiness CoE, the AMEDDC&S plays an expanded role supporting the Army to lead the design, integration, education and training of new and innovative approaches to health and the Army Health System.
The designation enables the command to focus on medical capability development and integration functions and serve the Army as a single agency with which to coordinate the medical and health needs of Soldiers and their Families.
The Health Readiness Center of Excellence also establishes operational conditions for the command to establish a university model and degree granting authority for the AMEDDC&S as an academic institution.
The AMEDDC&S has reorganized to enhance mission command, improve functional alignment, fully implement the Army HRCoE and set the conditions for becoming a degree-granting institution.
The restructure into two training brigades with cadre, faculty and students assigned to the same organization will enhance mission command and improve functional alignment for the brigades, each of which will have responsibility for the execution of training and education, as well as quality of life and immersion into the Army Profession, officials said. It will also create a focus for concept, requirements, and doctrinal development in a Capability Development and Integration Directorate analogous to other CoEs.
"Conflicts in the future, like those in the past, will ultimately be resolved on land. They will be won with the blood of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who make up our Joint Force," Jones said. "Those warfighters will fight more effectively because they know Army Medicine is present on the battlefield with them and they will take comfort knowing that we are also caring for their families back home.
"The Academy Brigade will play a critical role in the transformation of Army Medicine to meet these challenges," the general added. "It will train medical leaders with new ideas, who can think critically, inspire Soldiers, instill discipline, and develop the character that makes our Army the best in the world."
Jones said the Academy Brigade is being established to improve the exercise of mission command within the AMEDDC&S, HRCoE, and will better align authority and responsibility as cadre, faculty and students will be assigned within the same organization and chain of command.
The Headquarters and Support Company (Provisional) is aligned under AMEDDC&S, HRCoE, and is under the command of Maj. Rory Walley and 1st Sgt. John Case.
Academy Brigade (Provisional) is under the command of Col. William Drennon, with Sgt. Maj. Larry Lipsey as the unit command sergeant major and Lt. Col. Patrick Zenk as the brigade executive officer, and consists of a headquarters detachment under the Academy Brigade and two battalions: the
Academy Battalion (Provisional), with a headquarters detachment, three companies, and the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine, and the 187th Medical Battalion with a headquarters detachment, three companies and the AMEDD Student Detachment.
The 32nd Medical Brigade is under the command of Col. Jack Davis and Command Sgt. Maj. David Franco and consists of one headquarters detachment, two battalions: the 232nd Medical Battalion with a headquarters company and seven companies, the 264th Medical Battalion with a headquarters detachment and four companies, including the AMEDD Noncommissioned Officers Academy, the AMEDD Board and the AMEDD Personnel Proponent Directorate.
The Army HRCoE under the U.S. Army Medical Command mission command maintains a focus on combat casualty care and aligns with the Army Training and Doctrine Command Centers of Excellence in terms of the authority and responsibility for developing medical readiness and health concepts, identifying medical readiness and health capability gaps, and defining and refining future Soldier medical and health requirements established by TRADOC.
The HRCoE structure increases collaboration across CoEs, other organizations, programs and the generating force to improve support to the operating force. It embraces best practices and initiatives that improve efficiency and effectiveness of the Army and other service partners overall. Its common structure across all HRCoEs improves the ability of external agencies to communicate with CoE subordinate elements.
Where integrated staffs are realized and common instruction shared, manpower requirements are decreased and greater synergy is gained between staffs and schools.
The Army HRCoE supports the Army Campaign Plan and the Army Medicine 2020 Campaign Plan by providing the Army Surgeon General a mission command structure from which to lead the design, integration, and training of new and innovative approaches to health and the Army Health System which, in turn, enable a ready, resilient force of Soldiers, families and Communities for the Army.
The Army HRCoE better focuses the Army on improving the readiness of the force by achieving healthy outcomes, promoting sleep, activity, and nutrition as a performance triad and reducing the number of medically non-ready Soldiers.
The HRCoE maintains a focus on combat casualty care and aligns with other TRADOC CoEs in terms of the authority and responsibility for developing medical/health concepts, identifying medical/health capability gaps, and refining future health readiness requirements based on Soldier capability needs established by TRADOC.
Jones welcomed Drennon who most recently served as the chief of the AMEDDC&S, HRCoE Leader Training Center.
"He successfully commanded a medical evacuation battalion and a combat support hospital and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan," Jones said of Drennon. "With his experience and proven performance, he was the obvious selection as the brigade commander."
"We just crossed the line of departure and it is time for us to assume our new mission and move forward with the utmost professionalism and discipline," Drennon said.
"Thank you for accepting the challenge to join our new team. You have my confidence and loyalty" Drennon added. "Together, we will overcome all challenges, accomplish all missions and grow stronger each day."
Lipsey is coming from the Medical Capabilities Integration Center,