By Ms. Suzanne Ovel (Regional Health Command Pacific)July 12, 2019
MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- The Madigan Troop Battalion welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony here July 12 at Madigan Army Medical Center.
Lt. Col. Amy Bird took command of the battalion from Lt. Col. Matthew Grieser. She is now charged with leading an organization responsible for day-to-day hospital operations serving more than 100,000 active-duty service members, retirees and families in the Puget Sound region. The battalion also provides training and support to hundreds of medical Soldiers annually who are completing their second phase of Advanced Individual Training in several U.S. Army military medical occupations.
"Lt. Col. Grieser is a competent, kind and dedicated officer," said Madigan Commander Col. Thomas Bundt. "His sense of mission was paralleled only by an understanding of the particular challenges of this command. In light of the significant challenges, he has always upheld the rules and regulations required of those in command and exercised a leadership style that fostered cooperation, common sense and collaboration ... He has done an incredible job with very few resources in the support of 5600 staff and over a 108,000 beneficiaries."
Grieser previously served as an enlisted infantryman and a medical specialist before becoming a medical service officer.
"Several years ago, and I mean about 25 years ago, I learned that all Soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership. I've had the pleasure to serve with some of the finest leaders in the Army during my time here," said Grieser.
He added he was constantly amazed by the Soldiers, leaders and staff at Team Madigan.
"How can you not be amazed by a junior Soldier who develops a software fix for a billion dollar electronic health record system just because he saw a way to make it work better? Or a single master sergeant who is absolutely committed to improving the continuum of casualty care because he knows firsthand the training will save lives and those Soldiers whose lives will be saved will never know his name? He does it only because it is what Soldiers deserve. It's very humbling," he said.
Bundt reintroduced the new Troop Battalion commander to the hospital; Bird previously served at Madigan as the executive officer and later as the then-Western Regional Medical Command executive officer and chief of staff at JBLM.
"I know your character and capacity as we worked together before. You are more than up to the task. Set yourself to it, pace yourself in all things that you will be a part of and relish this command position. Taking command at any level is challenging as the level of accountability and responsibility is unmatched in any profession. This honor is not freely given and the gravity of responsibility you are charged with is our nation's highest, which includes the training, caring, maintaining and leading of America's Soldiers," Bundt said.
Bird is a medical service officer who comes to Madigan from the U.S. Army Medical Command where she served as the secretary of the general staff to the 44th Army surgeon general and commanding general, U.S. Army MEDCOM. She earned the Bronze Star Medal and also previously deployed to Afghanistan, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia and Qatar.
"I'm honored to be back at Madigan and part of this amazing team. As I walked around the hospital last week, I saw so many familiar and friendly faces, and it's great to be back home in the Pacific Northwest," said Bird.