FORT MEADE, MD Aca,!" Pledging a focus on patient care, Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Brooks assumed the responsibilities of senior medical noncommissioned officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Meade during a change of responsibility ceremony held April 2.
Brooks replaces Master Sgt. Michael D. Stockdell, who served as the first sergeant and senior medical NCO of MEDDAC Fort Meade for the past three years.
"This is, indeed, an honor for me," said Brooks to an audience of about 120 military personnel assembled in the Event Center at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center. "I look forward to working with each and every one of you." Kimbrough is the headquarters of MEDDAC Fort Meade, which includes a number of U.S. Army health clinics, occupational health clinics and environmental health clinics at several installations in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Guests included Lt. Gen. James Nold, commander of Kirk Army Health Clinic at Aberdeen Proving Ground; Sgt. 1st Class Wendy Daughtery, the clinic's senior enlisted advisor; Sgt. 1st Class Lorenzo Freeman, senior enlisted advisor from Barquist Army Health Clinic at Fort Detrick; Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Garland, senior enlisted advisor at Dunham Army Health Clinic at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.; and Col. Thomas Tempel, commander of U.S. Army Dental Activity at Fort Meade.
As the senior medical NCO, Brooks is the top NCO for the command. He will advise MEDDAC Fort Meade Commander Col. Christopher M. Castle about enlisted and NCO matters and will be responsible for the standards, morale, welfare and training of all military personnel in the unit.
Sgt. Willie Houston, NCO in charge of patient administration, served as master of ceremonies. The ceremony included an invocation by Martin Pate III, chief of Plans, Training, Mobilization, Security and Education for MEDDAC Fort Meade.
The transfer of authority from Stockdell to Brooks occurred during a Sword Ceremony, which marks an NCO change of responsibility.
"He brings with him a great level of experience, skill and knowledge," said Castle, who worked with Brooks previously in Korea and called him a friend.
"We're proud to have you here."
The commander praised Stockdell for his skill, expertise and commitment to excellence. "It's truly been a pleasure to work here," Stockdell said.
"There have been a lot of good times I value here." Stockdell will deploy to Afghanistan in June as the senior enlisted advisor for a provincial reconstruction team.
Prior to arriving at Fort Meade, Brooks served as the sergeant major of Logistics for the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1983 and, after completing 27 months, joined the Army in 1986. After completing Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, he became a medical supply specialist.
Throughout his 23 years in the Army, Brooks has held NCO leadership positions at various medical facilities in the United States and abroad.
In an interview after the ceremony, Brooks said he is committed to improving customer service and warrior care, noting that Kimbrough's Warrior Transition Unit is designed to succeed.
"With its close proximity to a large medical command, it is the perfect example of how to speed up their recovery," he said.