PIRMASENS, Germany -- Leaders at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe bid farewell to and recognized the 28-year military career of its outgoing commander, Col. Jonathan B. Butler, during a Change of Command ceremony on July 9.
Butler, who is retiring, has spent the last two years at USAMMC-E, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command and integral source of medical materiel support during the recent COVID-19 response.
During his remarks, Butler thanked his family, fellow leaders, organizational partners and the USAMMC-E workforce, saying it has been a “true honor” leading and serving alongside some of the “best staff” in the organization’s history.
“Your response to all this was absolutely amazing,” he said, pointing to efforts during the COVID-19 response efforts on top of USAMMC-E’s other missions as theater lead agent of medical materiel (TLAMM) across Europe and Africa.
As the TLAMM, USAMMC-E plans, synchronizes and provides medical logistics support to the warfighters and their Families in U.S. Army Europe Command, U.S. Army Central Command and U.S. Army Africa Command, as well as the Department of State.
That mission took on additional importance earlier this year as the nation responded to the global health crisis, which AMLC Commander Col. Michael Lalor highlighted during his remarks.
Lalor said USAMMC-E team -- strong in its capabilities, yet small in numbers -- issued over 1 million sets of personal protective equipment, diagnostic test kit materiel and critical pharmaceuticals across all three combatant commands.
Working around the clock to support its customers and military units, USAMMC-E executed nearly 1,300 shipments moving over 750,000 pounds of medical materiel in March and April alone.
“They integrated with the entire sustainment and joint enterprise to move medical materiel quicker, and they did, maximizing every platform available to them,” Lalor said. “And no one could have done it better than Jon Butler and his team.”
The missions of AMLC and USAMMC-E are never easy, Lalor added, but Butler’s leadership helped the center rise to “new heights” as he tirelessly worked problems and hit targets along the way to positively impact the organization’s partners and customers.
“I am so proud of this USAMMC-E team, and I thank you for being their leader -- and a great one -- all along the ride,” Lalor said. “We wish you and your Family all the best as you execute a change of mission and set out on a new adventure.”
The ceremony also served to welcome USAMMC-E’s new commander, Col. Shane Roach, who comes to the organization by way of San Antonio, Texas, where he last served as Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Health Care Systems Capability manager.
Roach said he looks forward to being a proactive leader who can build on Butler’s success. In a nod to former President Theodore Roosevelt, Roach pledged to “do what I can, with what I have, where I am.”
Lalor said Roach “is the right leader at the right time for this outstanding unit.”
“The Soldiers and civilians of this great organization are ready, proud and battle tested,” he added. “They stand with their new commander today, ready to answer the nation’s call and write the next chapter of USAMMC-E history.”
As for history, Butler candidly talked about his personal journey that led to a nearly three-decade military career, including 26 years in active duty.
His proudest memories, he said, stem from creating a culture of leadership development and training at USAMMC-E, while seeing the tremendous growth of individuals and teams during his tenure.
“If I had to do this journey all over again, I wouldn’t change it,” Butler said.