U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory welcomes new commander
June 9, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Soldiers and civilians of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory greeted a new commanding officer June 1 at the U.S .Army Aviation Museum.
Col. Dana K. Renta assumed command from Col. Joseph F. McKeon, who will remain at Fort Rucker as the Aeromedical Activity director.
Maj. Gen. James Gilman, U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command commanding general, said Fort Rucker and USAARL had nothing to worry about as Renta took command.
“(She) is known all around Fort Rucker,” he said. “She’s known as a great physician here and has been part of Fort Rucker since 2007. She’s a proven clinical and administrative leader and (I) have great confidence in her ability to lead USAARL.”
Renta said she is up to the challenge of leading and was happy to see the turnout of both her former and current units at the ceremony.
“It’s so wonderful to celebrate this event among such a grand display of Aviation innovation and ingenuity,” she said. “I’m so humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization forward.”
McKeon “provided superb leadership to USAARL for the past three years” Gilman said. He’s been a strong asset to both USAARL and Army Aviation.
“In the years he’s been in command at USAARL, he’s worked tirelessly to improve morale while simultaneously instilling discipline,” he said. “Combining those two is not altogether easy, sometimes. USAARL broadened its research portfolio significantly, under (McKeon’s) leadership.”
McKeon said he couldn’t have been as successful without the support of his Family and those in USAARL. He added living in the area has been made all the better thanks to the hard work of those in Fort Rucker’s garrison office.
“We are truly blessed here in the Wiregrass and I truly believe most people love coming to work here each day,” he said. “The mission and the people matter. The way our Soldiers look out for each other and help each other out is extraordinary.”
McKeon also thanked the civilians who work in USAARL saying that they are the part USAARL truly couldn’t do without.
“You are the constant factor here,” he said. “The military comes and goes, but you are the ones with the history and the bureaucratic insight and the determination to see the mission accomplished day after day, year after year.”
McKeon said the transition of command wasn’t about any one person, but a celebration of the unit and its accomplishments. He said he was proud to have been a part of it and encouraged those in the unit to continue pursuing its mission.