General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital welcomes new commander
July 18, 2012
By John Brooks
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Col. Kirk Eggleston, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, turned the reins of leadership over to Col. Marie Dominguez at a change-of-command ceremony on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza on July 12.
Marine Lance Cpl. Dominique Dominguez, daughter of Col. Dominguez, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the ceremony.
Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle, Western Regional Medical Command deputy commanding general for readiness, presented Eggleston with a Legion of Merit and commented on the outstanding leadership Eggleston provided GLWACH and the outstanding results
he achieved as hospital commander.
Doyle said that during Eggleston's time at GLWACH, 3,600 square feet were added to the military treatment facility as well as a new gym, and a Warrior Transition Unit complex. He said no-shows were decreased from 12 to 5 percent, and GLWACH went from number 31 in the Bizbowl, a nation-wide ranking of Army hospitals, to number 7.
Doyle said he knew that Eggleston would represent the Army well, but that he should "start learning all of those nautical terms like 'port' and 'starboard'," before he gets to his next assignment at the U.S. Naval War College.
"This is a heart and soul business. It's like a stab in the heart when you leave command," Doyle also said.
Eggleston spent most of his remarks thanking and bragging on the wide gamut of 1,400-plus individuals serving enrollees at GLWACH, as well as his wife, Rhonda, children and various support people on post and in the surrounding community.
In keeping with his reputation for humility and approachableness, Eggleston confessed that his secretary, Ann Goldsmith, and the other deputy secretaries really ran the hospital.
"Medics take second place to no one as Soldiers," Eggleston said.
Following the change-of-command portion of the ceremony and before the pass in review by the assembled MEDDAC Soldiers, Dominguez and GLWACH Command Sgt. Maj. Tabitha Gavia signed the Army Medicine Healthcare Covenant, which represents MEDCOM's commitment to provide quality health care to our military retirees, wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, and Family members. The document will be on permanent framed display in GLWACH's main hallway.
Dominguez said she was pleased and that it was an honor and a privilege to be assigned here.
"Kirk, you've left big shoes to fill. I intend to fill them," Dominguez said.
"Taking command of a hospital on a post named after a military physician -- how cool is that?" she said.
She thanked her husband and her children for their support as she dragged them around the world in her Army service.
(Editor's note: Brooks is the GLWACH marketing specialist and public affairs officer.)