FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS (Dec. 3, 2015) -- Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho passed the flag to Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, during a ceremony at Fort Sam Houston today marking the end of her tenure as the Army's 43rd surgeon general.

Horoho assumed command of the U.S. Army Medical Command, or MEDCOM, Dec 5, 2011, and was sworn in as the surgeon general, Dec. 7, 2011. She was the first female and first nurse to command the Army's largest medical organization.

"The men and women in formation today represent our remarkable command and are a credit to our nation," Horoho said. "Army medicine is blessed to have such exceptional commanders, senior enlisted advisors and staffs. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, and most of all, for ensuring the readiness of the young men and women we send into harm's way in the name of democracy and freedom.

"These past four years for me have been a continuation of the lessons I've learned as a Soldier and about trusting the values instilled in me from the day I took my oath of office - loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage," Horoho said. "The past four years were not about being the first of anything, but about only being the next Soldier called up.

"We're successful because we're American Soldiers and Department of Army civilians, we're warriors and members of a team, we live the Army values, we place the mission first, we never accept defeat, we never leave a fallen comrade behind, we are experts and we're professionals, we are American Soldiers," she said. "Together, we have served to heal and have been honored to serve."

"Like so many other leaders in our Army today, Patty Horoho comes from a great lineage of service to our nation," Allyn said. "Over three generations, the Horoho and Dallas Families have given a combined one-hundred and sixty-eight years of collective service to our nation."

"She did this all with tremendous enthusiasm, vision and compassion," he said. "She provided continuously inspiring leadership to Army Medical Command. Throughout her tenure, Patty drove cultural change to shift Army medicine from a disease focused, reactive healthcare system to a proactive program focused on sustaining Soldier health. She led the effort to make the Army Medical Department a high-reliability organization enhancing the trust and confidence of our Soldiers, retirees and Families."

Horoho held every level of leadership in Army Medicine to include positions as deputy surgeon general; chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps; commander, Western Regional Medical Command; commander, Madigan Army Medical Center; commander, Walter Reed Health Care System; and commander, DeWitt Health Care Network; and as the special assistant to the commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Afghanistan.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Master of Science degree as a clinical trauma nurse specialist from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a resident graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, where she earned a second Master of Science degree in national resource strategy.

MEDCOM is one of 11 direct reporting units in the Army. It manages a budget of more than $12.8 billion budget and provides medical care for approximately 3.95 million eligible beneficiary's worldwide - active duty Service members, retirees, and their Family members. The command also oversees graduate medical education, health professional education, medical research and training of all combat medics.

Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Jones will serve as the acting commander and Army surgeon general until the new Army surgeon general is confirmed by the Senate. Jones is commanding general of the Army Medical Department Center and School.