Dickerson succeeds Army Col. Richard E. Lindsay, who had been USAE-N commander since July 2015 and now becomes chief of staff for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate, headquartered at NSAB.
Army Brig. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, commanding general of Regional Health Command-Atlantic, officiated the change of command ceremony. He commended Lindsay, Dickerson and USAE-North Soldiers for their service to the nation. He explained the colors of the USAE-N "are not just any colors, but represent the successful paradigm shift to a joint environment executing the joint concept for health services. They represent the Military Health System's crown jewel, and they represent the finest assembly of medical personnel that comprise Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the DiLorenzo Health Clinic at the Pentagon and the Joint Pathology Center."
Dingle said the "dynamic duo" of Lindsay and Command Sgt. Maj. Michelle L. Jones provided Troop Command of the USAE-N "a very special leadership" for approximately 1,600 Army personnel. "Under [Lindsay's] leadership, [USAE-N personnel] worked tirelessly to develop relationships with tri-services at NSAB to include collaboration with the Uniformed Services University, the Warrior Transition Brigade, the Navy Training and Support Command and many others ensuring a common operating picture."
The general thanked Lindsay for setting the example for USAE-N, and stated the colonel's diligence and leadership will impact the command and hospital for years to come. "I thank you for your tremendous and unconditional servant leadership to the mission of providing health care to our Soldiers, the Army family and the beneficiary population, "he added.
"It is said, 'As great leaders or commanders leave, great leaders and commanders come,'" Dingle continued. "That is exactly what we have in Col. Tonya Dickerson. [She is] leader trained and developed. [She is] a leader ready to build upon Troop Command's successes."
Lindsay said his command of USAE-N has been "the highlight" of his military career thus far. He added he's been proud to serve with those who "care for the nation's leaders and heroes -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their family members who are serving and protecting our nation.
"We're treating at Walter Reed pretty much every service member who is seriously wounded or injured in any combat action or training event across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the United States on the eastern coast," Lindsay continued. "How can you have a more rewarding job? How can it have more meaning? You can't in my mind." He added it's the people within the organization who make it great.
"To Col. Dickerson, you're now in command of the best Troop Command in the United States Army," Lindsay added. "I wish you the best as you continue moving this great organization to higher and higher heights. To the Soldiers and civilians of USAE-N, thank you for the great opportunity, [and] keep pushing yourselves professionally and personally. You're going to continue to make great things happen."
Dickerson began her military career at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a staff and charge nurse of the Peripheral Vascular and Medicine Inpatient Unit, followed by a number of other clinical and leadership positions including deputy chief of Hospital Education and Staff Development at WRAMC; director of the Practical Nurse Course, WRAMC and WRNMMC; chief of Ambulatory Nursing, Guthrie Ambulatory Health Clinic, Fort Drum, New York; and deputy commander for nursing, Kimbrough Ambulatory Health Clinic, Fort Meade, Maryland. She also deployed for 15 months to support Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 115th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Polk, Louisiana, whose primary mission was detainee health care.
"Today we live and operate in an ever-changing, volatile, complex and ambiguous environment," Dickerson said. "For this reason, readiness is our top priority. With the support of the Soldiers and civilians in this command, we will undertake this huge responsibility.
"I understand that command is a privilege and honor. I accept this responsibility and servant leadership opportunity. I am humbled to lead and proud to serve," Dickerson concluded.