FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 15, 2015) -- Command Sgt. Maj. David Williams assumed responsibility as the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital command sergeant major, replacing outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Tony Williams, Friday.

David Williams comes to Fort Leonard Wood from the Southern Regional Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as Tony Williams heads to Germany.

Col. Peter Nielsen, GLWACH commander, welcomed David
Williams and assured him that this was going to be a great tour for him and his Family.

"This is an outstanding hospital -- the best hospital in the AMEDD (U.S. Army Medical Department)," Nielsen said. "Thank you very much for what I know you're going to do on behalf of our staff, our patients and our community."

Tony Williams spoke about his life's journey and what this assignment has meant to him.

"First, I want to thank God, because he has taken me from a little kid back in Alabama and New Orleans to the pinnacle and one of the best jobs I've had in the Army," Tony Williams said.

"One of the things I will miss about this special place are the relationships that I have gained over the last 22 months," Williams said. "I cherish the relationships and comaraderies I've gained throughout the hospital and the community. They have become priceless to me and my Family."

During his time at GLWACH, Tony Williams saw many new first-time services initiated here, such as the first civilian/military Electronic Intensive Care Unit established in an MTF (Medical Treatment Facility), and the first ever VA inpatient sharing agreement with the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran's Hospital to provide local veterans with health care closer to their homes.

"What great lengths our staff goes through daily to take great care of our nation's sons, daughters, Family members and retirees. What a great team of teams we have. I am humbled to have been a part of this impressive team," Tony Williams said.

Several exclusive GLWACH-only services initiated by staff members have advanced medical practices within both Army and civilian medicine alike, such as the "Stemi hot load" cardiac patient transport procedure, which ultimately saved the lives of five patients during the first few months since the procedure went live.

"So, what makes GLWACH so great?" asked Tony Williams. "It is truly about the people. I can unequivocally say that it is the Soldiers and civilians who roll up their sleeves every day and make magic happen."

People will forget what you say and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel, Williams said.

"I look out over the crowd and I see faces -- faces that greeted me every morning with a bright smile and a warm hello as I walked throughout the facility, Fort Leonard Wood and the civilian community on a daily basis. You in the audience are what makes this place so special to my Family," the outgoing Williams said.

David Williams remarked that it was both a privilege and an honor to be selected for his new position here.

"As the Army and Army Medicine transforms, I will ensure that our beneficiaries and the local community receive the highest quality health care possible. That's my pledge to you, Fort Leonard Wood community," Williams said. "I pledge to the Soldiers these things: their ultimate welfare, training, development and mentorship."

"These are both fine, outstanding sergeants major," Nielsen said. "This is a bittersweet day."

(Editor's note: Brooks is the marketing and public affairs officer at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)