CAMP ZAMA, Japan (June, 18 2014) -- U.S. Army Medical Department Activity- Japan welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony June 17 on Yano Field behind the Yano Fitness Center, here.

Col. Vivian T. Hutson relinquished command of MEDDAC-J to Col. Thirsa Martinez.

Hutson, who previously served as the nutrition consultant for the Europe Regional Medical Command at Landstuhl, Germany, served as commander of MEDDAC-J and the command surgeon for U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward) for two years.

After many thanks and well wishes to the distinguished guests, including Brig. Gen. Dennis D. Doyle, commanding general of Pacific Regional Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center, Hutson thanked the Soldiers for their support.

"You are amazing," Hutson said of the Soldiers of MEDDAC-J, "your enthusiasm and energy motivates me every day."

Hutson also thanked the Camp Zama community for their support and service. Hutson said the Camp Zama community members make (Camp Zama) the finest place to live, that she has seen over her 27 years of Army life.

"It is the spouses, the volunteers, the family readiness groups, (the) wonderful teachers and (the) outstanding Garrison staff who go the extra distance all year round."

Martinez comes to MEDDAC-J from the Medical Service Corps where she served as the director and strategic planner.

Martinez said she has heard of the "tremendous" accomplishments that MEDDAC-J has endured through the years.

"I promise to continue the legacy," said Martinez.

"Today is like a dream," said Martinez as she addressed the guests, "it is an honor for me" to be the new commander of MEDDAC-J.

Martinez said the optimization of the direct patient care system and the improvement of stamina through health outcomes are things that she will focus on. Others focus topics included developing leaders in the organization and promoting an ethical climate of character competency for MEDDAC-J.

"I (plan) to live and breathe the priority of Army medicine," said Martinez.

Following the change of command, a cut-caking ceremony and reception was held at the Camp Zama Community Club.