USAMRMC Bids Commander Farewell
On July 28, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick said goodbye to Commander Maj. Gen. Brian C. Lein as he handed the leadership reins over to incoming Commander Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb.
Lein will transition west from the USAMRMC, taking over as the new commanding general at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas; a center dedicated to the development of a military medical force for decisive action in support of the Nation. There, Lein will oversee the formulation of medical organization, tactics, doctrine, equipment and the education and training of medical personnel.
"And I won't have to travel as much, which will be a welcome change," added Lein jokingly.
Although excited for this new opportunity and the adventure that awaits him at Fort Sam Houston, Lein expressed his gratefulness and appreciation for his time spent here at Fort Detrick.
"I will miss the Frederick community," said Lein, "it has been one our - my wife and I's - top favorite places to live."
Reflecting back over his time as commanding general of the USAMRMC and Fort Detrick, Lein noted some of the top challenges he faced as commander. From managing a tight budget and ensuring the appropriate monies were where they needed to be to coordinating efforts efficiently and effectively among the 12 subordinate commands that comprise this multifaceted command, Lein's tenure at Fort Detrick has undoubtedly been a demanding assignment. A job, Lein notes, that he could not have successfully accomplished "without the support, the dedication and the passion" of the people working not just here at Fort Detrick, but worldwide within the command.
Lein expressed his appreciation for the recognition that he has been privileged to see this command receive and for having the opportunity to witness such incredible efforts over the past two years. From Ebola outbreak training and deployment efforts to assistance in the development of a Zika vaccine, "the mutual support of Fort Detrick, the USAMRMC, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Frederick community, and so many more... that in itself has been the most rewarding aspect" of his time as commander.
In no way leaving out the efforts of the U.S. Army Garrison side of the house here at Fort Detrick, Lein commended the outstanding efforts of the USAG staff, crediting them with how exceptionally Fort Detrick has managed to "break down the barriers of 'us' versus 'them'" within the local community.
Overall, though trying and challenging at times, Lein's experience here has been one he will forever look back on fondly.
"Every day that I have come to work, I have been excited to be here," said Lein appreciatively, "not everyone gets to say that."
When asked if there was any advice he had to pass onto successor Holcomb, he simply and lightheartedly stated "good luck!"
"Have fun and enjoy what the community has to offer," continued Lein, admittedly a little enviously. "I know I personally will miss the hometown feel of Frederick."
With a final word for everyone at the USAMRMC and Fort Detrick, Lein had two small, yet heartfelt words to share with the teammates he is leaving behind: "Thank you."
"Thank you to the entire USAMRMC; thank you to the USAG; thank you to the Frederick community..." said Lein in closing, "It has been an honor to serve with you."