By Mr. Ramee Opperude (Regional Health Command Pacific)July 26, 2018
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (July 26, 2018) -- The U.S Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks (USAHC-SB) Soldiers and staff welcomed their new senior enlisted advisor Sgt. Maj. Dedraf Blash during a change of responsibility ceremony July 26 at Schofield Barracks.
Blash accepted responsibility from Sgt. Maj. Joel Thomas who is departing for Fort Sam Houston, Texas in San Antonio.
Under the leadership of Thomas, USAHC-SB directly impacted the lives of thousands of service members and families and, more specifically, the readiness of the medical force at the clinic.
"We are here for the warfighters, to ensure their readiness, support their families and provide the very best care possible," said Thomas during his farewell remarks.
In addition to the standard protocol of the ceremony, Thomas thanked many distinguished guests and visitors including his first platoon sergeant, who trained Thomas during his first assignment on Oahu as a member of the 25th Infantry Division.
The host for the ceremony was Col. Dave Zimmerman, commander, USAHC-SB, who thanked Thomas for his mentorship to Soldiers along with being the "best Soldier in the formation."
Zimmerman, who recently took command of the USAHC-SB shared his appreciation for Thomas and the role he took in preparing the enlisted corps at the clinic for future leadership positions and increased roles of responsibility.
As the USAHC-SB team bid farewell to Thomas, the clinic commander said he believes Blash is ready to fill this important role thanks to her past experiences.
"To the Soldiers, civilians and families that stand before me, I am deeply humbled and honored for this opportunity to serve this magnificent organization," Blash said. "This is not a responsibility that I take lightly, I commit to you that I will remain steadfast and committed in ensuring that you are medically proficient, developed, cared for and prepared to meet the wide range of missions as we move forward in support of Army Medicine."
The USAHC-SB Soldiers and staff welcomed Blash to her first assignment on Oahu following the passing of the guidon.
She brings with her a familiarity with the region due to assignments such as Camp Casey, Korea; Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and the Regional Health Command Pacific, JBLM.
Blash hails from Conyers, Georgia. She entered the U.S. Army as a private in January 2000 and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Advance Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for MOS 91B Combat Medical Specialist.