Col. Heather Kness relinquished command of the U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade to Col. Edward Mandril at Fort Knox's Waybur Theater, June 7.The ceremony was officiated by Brig. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy commanding general of operations, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, who praised Kness and the many accomplishments of the MRB while under her command."It's a privilege to preside over this important ceremony today, and it gives me an opportunity to recognize the Medical Recruiting Brigade," he said. "Under Col. Kness, the MRB commissioned over 3200 healthcare and chaplain professionals to serve our Soldiers and their families. She has been an impressive officer, who understood the mission and the commanding general's intent. She has set the conditions for even greater mission success in the coming years."Vereen welcomed Mandril, and stated he had the right background to lead the MRB to new heights of achievement."Col. Mandril has an extensive resume and I am very confident the Army picked the right leader for the right job," he said.Kness thanked everyone present and had special words of appreciation for both her staff and the recruiters in the field."I owe thanks to so many. I have such respect for our Army Recruiters and for our Headquarters staff," she said. "It has been an honor to serve among these patriots. I feel so good knowing I am leaving the brigade in good hands. I will always remain true to our motto, 'Vigilant and Steadfast'."Kness also recognized her family, including her parents who had traveled from New York to be with her, and thanked her husband, retired Col. Lenny Kness, U.S. Army, for his continued support of her career.Mandril said it was his honor and privilege to join the MRB and asked the audience to give a round of applause for the recruiters who helped bring in America's most precious resource; its Soldiers.Mandril comes to Fort Knox from the U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he completed an assignment as the chief of the Integration and Operation Division.Kness will remain at Fort Knox on special assignment to U.S. Army Recruiting Command Headquarters for the next year, then she will assume command of the 30th Medical Brigade in Sembach, Germany.
Music during the ceremony was provided by the 101st Airborne Division Band from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.The MRB is responsible for recruiting healthcare professionals and chaplains to serve Soldiers and their families. The MRB headquarters is at Fort Knox, with five battalions and 16 companies spread across the United States.