"Another milestone" for the 18th Medical Command
September 14, 2009
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - The 18th Medical Command held its first change of command ceremony here on historic Palm Circle, Sept. 10. Col. Erin P. Edgar assumed command of the unit from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Chadwick A. Bowers who will transfer to Tripler Army Medical Center to be the assistant chief of logistics. Edgar is coming to the unit from Ft. Bragg, N.C., where he commanded the 28th Combat Support Hospital, and deployed to Iraq in September 2006 for a 15-month tour, conducting split-based operations in Baghdad and Mosul. "It\'s truly an honor to host this ceremony," said Brig. Gen. Steve L. Jones, commanding general, Pacific Region Medical Command. "No country cares more for its war fighters or provides them with better care than ours. We demonstrate that by sending our combat medics and our surgeons further forward on the battlefield than any other nation. We also demonstrate it by creating units like the 18th Medical Command to provide leadership for the team that cares for our wounded every step of their journey back to recovery. "Today we mark another milestone in the unit's proud history," said Jones. The unit, then the 18th Medical Brigade, activated on Aug. 18, 1967, at Fort Lee, Va. The unit moved to Fort Meade, Md. in preparation to deploy to Vietnam. Due to the drawdown in Vietnam, the unit inactivated on Dec. 16, 1970. On Aug. 16, 1984, the unit was reactivated as the 18th Medical Command (Theatre) in Yongsan, Korea. On Oct. 15, 2008, the unit cased its colors and transferred its heritage and lineage to the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support). On Nov. 25, 2008, the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) activated on historic Palm Circle as the Medical Theatre Enabling Command for the United States Army, Pacific. Since then, The unit has grown from the commander and one Soldier to over 100 Soldiers and is filling its ranks daily. "The 18th Medical Command has accomplished much, but there's more work ahead and I can't think of a better officer to assume command than Col. Erin Edgar," said Jones. "Col. Edgar and Soldiers of the 18th Medical Command, you have a tough job ahead of you. To provide the Soldiers of the United States Army Pacific with the medical care they deserve and our nation expects," said Jones. "Keep them and our Army the strength of the Nation." As the incoming commander normally does, Edgar kept his comments brief. "Aloha, it's an honor to be a member of the Pacific Knight Ohana (family)," said Edgar. "Soldiers and Marines fantastic ceremony, it was really great to see. Thank you for creating such a ceremony befitting the departure of a great leader and a great commander, Col. Bowers." Edgar went on to thank Bowers for his tremendous work in less than a year with 18th MEDCOM. "You've brought this unit from scratch to what it is today, and I am very impressed and I will be forever grateful," he said. He thanked his family for their adventures with him over the past years while serving in the military before telling the unit, "we've got work to do, so let's get after it."