Soldiers, staff and guests rejoiced during William Beaumont Army Medical Center's 2018 Holiday Ball at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, Fort Bliss, Texas, Dec. 1.
This year's masquerade-themed ball invited guests to don masks and celebrate 2018 accomplishments at WBAMC.
"I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and Soldiers, and be in the environment again," said retired Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, 42nd Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and former commanding general of U.S. Army Medical Command. "I hope everyone enjoys themselves, one of the good things about not being in command anymore is not worrying about whether things get done on time, I get to just enjoy being here."
Schoomaker was invited as the Ball's guest speaker where he shared his experiences as a Soldier and encouraged continued camaraderie and enthusiasm for the future of Army Medicine.
"We all have worked for a common purpose, there's an instant reconnection to the community," said Schoomaker. "This is really a rare treat and a great privilege."
During the ceremony, Col. Erik Rude, commander, WBAMC, recalled an interaction with Schoomaker earlier in his career, where Schoomaker gave him instrumental advice on leading and commanding, guidance which Rude states, "Had a big impression on me and made me want to stay in the Army."
"There's great leaders out there like Lt. Gen. Schoomaker, and those are the (Soldiers) I want to work for," said Rude. "I was very privileged to work for him, he's a great man."
According to Schoomaker, WBAMC's ball is his first since retiring in 2012.
"Things like these you can't do on social media," said Schoomaker. "It's important to bring people together and share camaraderie."
In thanks, leaders presented Schoomaker with a set of balance scales, representative of the former surgeon general's notion of a "balanced scorecard," a concept to better align Army Medicine objectives.
The night concluded with a dance demonstration by WBAMC Soldiers, taught by a local dance instructor.