FORT HOOD, Texas– Col. Robert Howe II, relinquished command of the 1st Medical Brigade to Col. Roger Giraud, during a change-of-command ceremony, Jan. 14, on Cameron Field.
Known as the largest, oldest and most expeditionary medical brigade in the Army, the 1st Med. Bde. is home to approximately 2,600 Soldiers spread out between 55 units, across 14 installations.
Howe took command of the brigade in January 2019 and the Silver Knights consistently raised the bar of excellence with each new mission accomplishment, and the brigade was always called upon to provide medical support for training exercises and deployment missions worldwide.
“Let’s give all these troopers an enormous round of applause for their impact making sure our Soldiers are secure, safe and that they are getting the very best medical care worldwide,” Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s commanding general, said.
During Howe’s two-year tenure, the 1st Med. Bde. maintained a high-operational tempo. The brigade deployed 15 teams and units around the globe, supporting 12 Army operations in support of four different global commands, and currently have Soldiers deployed across four continents.
“The Silver Knights continue to distinguish themselves at home and abroad,” Ragin said. “It’s a testament to their professionalism and Rob’s outstanding leadership.”
As the Army, nation and world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the brigade was on the frontlines supporting efforts across the Central and Southwest United States, New York City and Seattle.
“This brigade’s medical readiness not only saved lives, but reaffirmed the confidence of the American people in the capabilities of their Army and the amazing professionalism of its medical corps,” Ragin said.
Howe and the Silver Knights were able to succeed in many legacy-defining missions and accomplishments, and Howe gave all credit to the Soldiers and leaders he had the privilege to command.
“I’m incredibly proud and humbled to have served with such an extraordinary team,” Howe said. “You are the heroes here today and I was blessed to share in your trials and triumphs.”
As Howe addressed the Soldiers, leaders, family members and friends in attendance, as well as those watching virtually, the pride he felt was evident, as he thanked everyone who supported the unit one final time.
“It is with deep gratitude that I offer my farewell,” Howe said. “This was the ultimate professional honor to serve with you all. Thanks again to the many families, friends and loved ones who shared this journey with us.”
As Giraud looked across the field and in the stands at his new Army Family and community, he vowed to pick up where Howe and the Silver Knights left off.