The 549th Hospital Center and Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) welcomed a new Commander June 25 during a change of command ceremony at Humphreys Collier Fitness Center. COVID-19 precautions were taken into consideration with socially distanced sitting and in a small group setting.
Maj. Gen. Daniel Christian, Deputy Commanding General – Sustainment, Eighth United States Army Korea attended the ceremony along with distinguished guests from the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and host nation hospital administrators from throughout the Korean peninsula.
Col. Derek C. Cooper, 65th Medical Brigade Commander, hosted the ceremony during which Col. Andrew L. Landers relinquished command to Col. Huy Q. Luu by the passing of the 549th HC and BDAACH’s colors.
During the passing of colors, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric S. Fowler, Command Sergeant Major of 549th HC and senior enlisted advisor for the BDAACH, passed the colors to Landers and the colors were passed to Luu through Cooper. Their passing from outgoing to incoming Commander signified the transfer of command.
Cooper highlighted Landers’ achievements during his tenure as the Commander by emphasizing how the seamless the conversion of the 121st Combat Support Hospital to the 549th Hospital Center took place under his command. He also commended Landers for the remarkable accomplishment of transitioning the BDAACH to Humphreys from the legacy hospital (Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital) located on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.
“The 549th team was not going to be satisfied with just converting. During this period, Col. Landers spearheaded and influenced key stakeholders that resulted in an overarching, wholesale revampment of the unit’s Operational Plan and for the first time established a plan to disperse Role 3 capability to three separate locations across the Korea Theater Operation vice the single, risk ladened location identified in the previous plan and he developed a comprehensive and synchronized plan for integration with multiple other Eighth Army operating elements for the first time in 15-years,” said Cooper.
“Col. Landers led a truly unprecedented transition and relocation (T&R) effort of the (BDAACH). In addition to closuring and realigning two outlying clinics, they closed the hospital in Yongsan, and opened the new $275 million, 450 thousand square foot multi-story ambulatory care Clinic and hospital with 68-beds, designed to serve approximately 65,000 patients, and masterfully integrated healthcare operations within three different communities,” added Cooper.
Landers expressed his gratitude for the team.
“I can honestly say that there was never a morning that I did not enjoy coming to work. I truly believe in the mission and the personnel that make up the 549th/BDAACH Team. To be surrounded by such dedicated professionals has made a profound impact on me as a Soldier, an officer and physician,” said Landers. “This day is not about an individual, it is about the outstanding men and women that make up the 549th/BDAACH family. Their never-ending pride and devotion to their craft ensures that we are providing high quality, compassionate and safe care for our beneficiaries at all times.”
The outgoing commander assured the organization is getting a phenomenal leader in Col. Huy Luu and expect the organization to soar to new heights never thought imaginable under the command of the incoming commander.
“I have no doubt that Huy is the right man to lead this organization to higher levels. He is an extremely talented and versatile leader and he has the background and multi-year Korea experience that this unit needs,” added Landers, whom departs and heads to his next assignment in Washington, D.C.
Finally, Luu was welcomed by the audience to make his first ever speech as the commander. The incoming commander thanked the outgoing commander for setting him up for success.
“I will be standing on shoulders of giants that have paved the way for me. I feel so very fortunate that our paths have crossed multiple times in the past each time was an opportunity for me to learn about leadership and dedication from you,” said Luu.
“I am truly humbled to be given this mantle of responsibility. I pledge to give you nothing less than the very best of my devotion and energy. Together, we will strive to enhance and perfect our excellence in healthcare delivery and rise to meet any challenges ahead of us,” Luu added.
Col. Huy Q. Luu, is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in physiological science. He received his medical doctorate in 1999 from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He completed his family medicine internship and residency in May 2002 at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Luu is also a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College (ILE), and National Defense University, Eisenhower School for Industrial policy (SSC). He is also a graduate of the Army’s Flight Surgeon Course, and the Navy's Diving Medical Officer Course and is airborne qualified having earned foreign his jump wings in Thailand and Cambodia.
Col. Luu's first assignment was as a staff physician at Weed Army Community Hospital, Fort Irwin, California. While at Fort Irwin, he was also the chief of immunization clinic, director for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses, and regimental surgeon for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Luu deployed to Iraq in 2005 as the TF 2/11 surgeon for 12 months, and in 2006 for 15 months as the 1-23 INF Stryker battalion surgeon. Following his deployments, Col. Luu was assigned to the Mannheim Health Clinic, Germany as medical director in 2008. During his time in Germany, he deployed as MedCap physician to Burkina Faso, Africa with 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, and to Bulgaria with Joint Task Force East. In 2011, Luu was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Torii Station, Okinawa as a battalion surgeon. In 2013, Col. Luu commanded the MEDEL (Medical Element) in Honduras as part of the JTF-Bravo. His unit was responsible for monthly medical humanitarian mission in Honduras and Central America. Luu served as the course director and medical corps consultant at the AMEDD Health Readiness COE’s Captain Career Course from 2014-16.
Col. Luu's most recent tour was in Korea from 2016-19. He served as the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and the Eighth United States Army command surgeon as well as Deputy Commander for Clinical Services at the Brian Allgood Community Hospital.
Col. Luu’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (8OLC), Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), and combat medical badge.
He was born in Vietnam and raised in San Jose, California and has been married for 24 years to Ms. Kim Trang Nguyen.