Fort Knox's U.S. Army Medical Department Activity and Ireland Army Health Clinic welcomed its new commander and bid farewell to the outgoing commander during a change of command ceremony held in Haszard Auditorium July 8.

Brigadier Gen. Telita Crosland presided over the ceremony, during which Col. Kevin Bass relinquished command to Col. Hugh McLean Jr., who comes to Fort Knox after serving as chief of Health Plans Management, Office of the Surgeon General at the Pentagon.

Crosland praised the character of both commanders, with whom she has worked before, and touted the changeover as essential for the Fort Knox medical community's continued changes.

"Our military health system is in the midst of a transformation, and critical to any transformation are the teams charged with realizing the vision of that transformation," Crosland said. "[Bass] has maintained focus on the foundation of our health care system while transitioning from a hospital to a clinic."

Crosland said that Bass has left what he started in capable hands.

"I can personally attest that Ireland and this community are getting a proven and accomplished leader who is up to the task at hand and to those tasks that will arise in the future," said Crosland. "I am confident that [McLean] will build on that current success while creating new successes."

Bass said there is still plenty of work for McLean to accomplish.

"MEDDAC Knox and IAHC has certainly gone through a fair amount of transition the last few years, and frankly it will continue to transition in the months ahead," Bass said. "We have a renewed and more intense focus on our core mission of ensuring that our mission partners have ready Soldiers and that we maintain a medical-ready force.

"I've known Hugh for a long time, and he's absolutely the right person to lead this organization."

McLean said he is ready to see the transition through to its end.

"Thank you for allowing me to command one of the finest units in the Army at a time of great transition. … You have my word that active-duty Soldiers, their Family members and Reserve units will have access to quality health care.

"A high standard has been set, and we will work hard to continue that great work. It is my top priority."

In his next assignment, Bass will serve as the Health Plans Division Chief at the Office of the Joint Staff Surgeon at the Pentagon.