DVIDS – News – Fort Drum Medical Business Welcomes New Commander During Change of Command


FORT DRUM, New York (July 19, 2021) – Col. Matthew Mapes assumed command of the US Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC), Fort Drum, New York, in a change of command ceremony on July 16 2021.

Mapes, from Highland Park, Ill., Took command of MEDDAC from Col. Robert Heath, who had led the organization since 2019.

An officer in the Medical Service Corps, Mapes began his military career in 1999 when he received a public health degree from Northern Illinois University and was appointed second lieutenant. He also holds a master’s degree in adult, vocational and continuing education from Kansas State University, as well as a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College.

Brig. General Mary V. Krueger, Commanding General of the Regional Health Command – Atlantic, the higher headquarters of MEDDAC, initiated the change of command ceremony by ceremoniously passing the flag or colors of MEDDAC to Mapes, signifying the official transfer of command.

“Guthrie is receiving an outstanding leader in military medicine, who has a proven track record,” Krueger said. “The people of the Guthrie Ambulatory Healthcare Clinic have been and will continue to be successful in being united around the mission of providing world-class medical support to the operational units here while ensuring that the same quality is applied in the day-to-day operations of health care.”

Mapes comes to MEDDAC from 9th Hospital Center, Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as Deputy Commander for Administration, with duties at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center as Deputy Deputy Commander for Medical Services. He previously served at Fort Drum as the commander of C Company, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI).

“We have very fond memories of our time spent here,” Mapes said. “Serving (here) on this great journey is a privilege that I honor and cherish. Fort Drum MEDDAC will continue to be an inclusive and cohesive team of professionals, built on a foundation of mutual trust. “

Heath assumed command of MEDDAC on August 9, 2019. Since then he has led Fort Drum’s joint COVID-19 medical response as well as the successful implementation of COVID-19 vaccinations for soldiers, family members, retirees, civilian employees and other eligible beneficiaries.

“It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve you as the Fort Drum MEDDAC Commander and Senior Health Officer at the facility for the past two years,” Heath said at the ceremony. “Coming back to the north of the country to take command and lead this exceptional organization was a dream come true for me. “

“But, the change of command ceremony is not so much about the outgoing and incoming commanders as you, the soldiers and civilians who make up this exceptional organization,” he added. “It’s about recognizing your contributions to the health and well-being of our community and your continued dedication to providing compassionate care every day to ensure our patients have healthier lives.

Heath’s next posting will take him to Regional Health Command – Atlantic in Fort Belvoir, Va., Where he will be the Chief of Staff.

Fort Drum MEDDAC, which includes the Guthrie, Wilcox, Conner and Bowe clinics at Fort Drum, as well as the US Army Watervliet Arsenal’s Occupational Health Clinic in Watervliet, New York, to name a few , provides medical services and health care. management at the 10th Mountain Division and the community of Fort Drum, serving more than 42,000 soldiers, family members, retirees, civilians in the Department of Defense and the military, and life soldiers.

Additional photos from the ceremony are available on the MEDDAC Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortdrummeddac/albums/72157719573165822.

Date taken: 07/19/2021
Date posted: 07/19.2021 11:17
Story ID: 401174
Location: FORT DRUM, NY, United States

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