VILSECK, Germany -- Col. E. Lee Bryan and Command Sgt. Maj. Kasandra Boulier formally accepted the command team reins of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria from Col. Mark Swofford and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bivins during a change of command and change of responsibility ceremony, Aug. 6, 2019, at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany.

Swofford and Bivins depart MEDDAC Bavaria and depart from the Army as this will be their last assignment of their military career. Both men are retiring from the service with a combined 56 plus years of active duty time between them.

Under the leadership of Swofford and Bivins as the MEDDAC Bavaria command team for the last 24 months, the organization achieved several key milestones:

• In the past two years all five Army health clinics under MEDDAC Bavaria were recertified for the successful completion of the Army Safety and Health Management System three-year validation in which each clinic demonstrated continuous commitment and improvements to safety and occupational health as a Star Site.

• MEDDAC Bavaria won two Defense Health Agency Quality and Safety awards.

• All Access to Care measures continue to be met for two years running.

• Just recently MEDDAC Bavaria successfully passed their triennial Joint Commission survey, with only eight findings in ambulatory care and only three for behavioral health.

Brig. Gen. Ronald Stephens, commanding general of the Regional Health Command Europe who officiated the ceremony said, "The work that this team has done is absolutely incredible. These two were destined to lead together."

Swofford thanked both Stephens and Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Garner, RHCE command sergeant major, for the latitude given to him and Bivins to effectively command MEDDAC Bavaria. It was something neither men took for granted.

"Throughout our time here we have been given the room, the trust, and the support to lead, make decisions, take action, and develop our people," said Swofford. "We hope that the performance of the team here has repaid your faith in us many times over."

Col. Bryan, the incoming commander, arrives from Fort Hood, Texas where he served as the Deputy Commander for Health Readiness at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, while Command Sgt. Maj. Boulier, the incoming command sergeant major, last assignment was at the Defense Health Agency at Falls Church, Virginia as its command sergeant major.

Bryan used the opportunity to recognize and to thank every member of the MEDDAC Bavaria, to include family members, for what they do as part of the organization.

"Command sergeant major Bouiler and I just would like to say 'thank you' from the bottom of our hearts, all you have done, all you do, and all you will do," said Bryan.

The new commander talked about the way ahead for MEDDAC Bavaria as he outlined his priorities in which he calls 'the big five.' They are: Medical and Individual Skills Readiness; Physical Readiness and Wellness; Quality and Safety; Experience and Satisfaction; and Leader and Staff Development.

"The big five will guide forward as we ensure the readiness and health of the units and beneficiaries we support."

Bryan pledged that MEDDAC Bavaria would continue to provide unwavering support to warriors and their families.

"We will continue to save lives, said Bryan. "We will continue to improve readiness. That is what we are for."

To learn more about the people and facilities of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria (MEDDAC Bavaria) and the clinics they support in Ansbach, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Stuttgart and Vilseck visit the MEDDAC Bavaria website at rhce.amedd.army.mil/Bavaria.