Medical brigade gains new commander
Soldiers conduct Pass and Review at the conclusion of the change of command ceremony July 11. The Pass and Review is an Army tradition that can be traced to the Middle Ages when rulers, as a way of showing their strength, were likely to have military... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The 62nd Medical Brigade welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony Wednesday, July 11, at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

The brigade, which is comprised of nearly 1,100 Soldiers, bid farewell to Col. Robert Forsten and welcomed Col. Laura M. Elliot during a ceremony where the unit showcased its Soldiers in formation.

"The simple yet symbolic ceremony that you witnesses represents much more than a change of responsibility between to colonels, it symbolizes the rich heritage of our great Army and it reaffirms the unique authority and responsibility vested by our Army and our great nation in a commander," said Brig. Gen. James S. Moore, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command commander.

Forsten, who was commissioned in 1990 from Gannon University, served as the brigade commander for two years. During those two years, the brigade participated in numerous exercises, deployed several units to worldwide operations and was the spearhead for the Expert Field Medical Badge competitions on JBLM.

"My words do not and cannot describe how truly appreciative I feel for what this unit has done together," Forsten said. "As I stand in my final formation with you, I do so with a deep gratitude for the opportunity to soldier with you, it has been my highest professional honor."

The incoming commander is a native of North Judson, Indiana, and has served in the military for more than 26 years.

"You are consummate professionals and leaders that should be very proud of what you have achieved under the leadership and vision of Colonel Forsten," Elliot said. "Over the next two years, we will continue to build on those achievements."