By Inkyeong Yun, 549th Hospital Center UPAROctober 15, 2019
U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys, PYEONGTAEK, SOUTH KOREA -- Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) of 502nd Field Hospital (FH) conducted a change of responsibility ceremony on 9 October at the new 549th Hospital Center building in U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys. 1st Sgt. Daniel Cummings relinquished the responsibility to 1st Sgt. Terry Dilday. The reviewing officer was Capt. Jessica Dirks, commander of HHC.
Prior to the change of responsibility ceremony, Sgt. 1st Class Dilday was frocked to 1st Sgt. by Capt. Dirks and 1st Sgt. Cummings. Capt. Dirks and 1st Sgt. Cummings emphasized the importance and responsibility of the position and that 1st Sgt. Dilday was the right person to meet the challenge.
During the ceremony, the company guidon was passed from 1st Sgt. Cummings, then to Capt. Dirks then to 1st Sgt. Dilday signifying the receipt of responsibilities as the company's senior enlisted advisor. Capt. Dirks showed appreciation and bid farewell to 1st Sgt. Cummings and welcomed 1st Sgt. Dilday to the leadership team.
1st Sgt. Cummings thanked Capt. Dirks in reciprocation for her speech and also thanked his family who was present as well as the Soldiers during his remarks.
"I appreciate every single moment of our time together…I know that our Soldiers are in good hands having you as the commander and I knew that you as my battle buddy, we were going to take the unit places and we did, we have accomplished things that command teams before hadn't been able to do", said Cummings to Dirks.
"I couldn't do any of this without you, not a single bit of it. You support me every single day, still there when I come home at night even if you are asleep" added Cummings to his wife and three sons who attended the ceremony. "I knew that no matter what was going on, I knew you always had my back."
He also gave credit to Soldiers that the unit is better because of the Soldiers who helped the command team for their success and he asked the Soldiers to do the same for the incoming First Sergeant.
1st Sgt. Dilday shared how honored he is to take the responsibility as the First Sergeant of HHC. He also emphasized his commitment as the unit's senior enlisted advisor.
"Today I'm honored to become part of lineage and legacy of the 502nd FH and the 549th Hospital Center as the HHC 502nd FH's 1st Sergeant…we are entrusted we are taking care of our brothers and sisters in arms, this encompasses and not limited to the commander's intent: readiness and medical readiness but actually all items and challenges."
The 549th Hospital Center went through a conversion to the Field Hospital design in July 2019. It is now comprised of two FHs; the 121st FH and 502nd FH, Four Medical Detachments; 129th, 125th, 150th, and 197th, and finally the 135th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team.
The FH design is based on lessons learned from more than a decade of combat that have reinforced the Army's need to have forward-based medical capabilities that are advanced yet also agile and logistically scalable. Traditional Combat Support Hospitals have proven to be too large and logistically difficult to deploy as a whole, which is why the Army has historically only deployed "slices" or sections of the CSH. The move to the FH design codifies that practice by restructuring the CSH in the way it is primarily used -- as a customizable, scalable resource.