FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Members of Irwin Army Community Hospital, 1st Infantry Division and the Central Flint Hills region welcomed Col. Theodore Brown during an assumption of command ceremony Jan. 18 at King Field House.

Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel Jr., commanding general, Regional Health Command -- Central, presided over the ceremony.

In a traditional act that represents a symbolic transfer of leadership, the Fort Riley Medical Department Activity colors were passed from Col. Mark MacDougall to Brown, who now leads IACH Soldiers and civilians in providing health care to the community.
During the ceremony, Tempel praised MacDougall and the IACH team for a smooth transition from Col. John Melton, IACH's previous commander ,who departed in December, to Brown.

"Thanks to Mark (MacDougall) and the whole team for your steadfast leadership," Tempel said. "Knowing that we have well-trained and prepared officers, not only in their medical professions but also in their Army professions, which relies on leadership and trust to be successful, you (MacDougall) have made this period between Col. Melton and Col. Brown very successful."

While turning his attention to the new commander, Tempel said, "IACH's team of men and women are passionate about providing absolutely the best care to every single patient that walks through its doors, and I couldn't be more grateful that they represent Army medicine here in the Central Flint Hills. Col. Brown, you are inheriting a phenomenal team. Under your leadership, I am confident this health care team will continue to excel as a partner with the 'Big Red One', the Central Flint Hills community, and the entire military health system in support of our Soldiers and families."
MacDougall also welcomed Brown and shared IACH's relationship to the 1st Inf. Div. and the Central Flint Hills community.

"Building on the sturdy platform Col. Melton provided, the talented and dedicated staff of IACH continue moving the organization forward every day, and on this day pass to their new commander a growing and thriving organization with incredibly strong ties to the 1st Inf. Div. and the Soldiers and families of the Fort Riley community," MacDougall said. "Col. Brown, welcome to Fort Riley. As you begin to meet our local community leaders, many of whom are in attendance this morning, you will feel welcomed. Their support is palpable in a way that I have not experienced elsewhere during my years of service. I believe you will quickly understand why so many Soldiers say the Fort Riley area is a great place to come home to."

Taking the podium to officially address Soldiers, civilians and community leaders, Brown expressed his enthusiasm for this next chapter of his career.

"I and my family have been blessed not simply to command, but to do so at this great installation, with a tremendous team and a very welcoming community," he said.

"Having just come from Germany, I am aware of the strategic work the Big Red One division is accomplishing in that area of responsibility. I am excited to join in that mission here at Fort Riley and to help ensure the readiness necessary to continue that and future missions. I am also honored to be a Big Red One Soldier."

Brown served as the commander of Stuttgart Army Health Clinic, Stuttgart, Germany. He is board certified in family medicine, preventive medicine and occupational medicine; and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Brown also holds a master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a master of science in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University, The Eisenhower School.