Col. Lee C. Freeman, (right) 32nd Hospital Center commander, passes the colors to Lt. Col. Stephen M. Duryea, 115th Field Hospital’s incoming commander, in a change of command ceremony held April 1 at Fort Polk’s Warrior Fitness Center.
Col. Lee C. Freeman, (right) 32nd Hospital Center commander, passes the colors to Lt. Col. Stephen M. Duryea, 115th Field Hospital’s incoming commander, in a change of command ceremony held April 1 at Fort Polk’s Warrior Fitness Center. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — Fort Polk’s 115th Field Hospital, 32nd Hospital Center, change of command ceremony was held April 1 at the Warrior Fitness Center as Lt. Col. Jason K. Marquart, outgoing commander, passed the guidon and leadership of the unit to Lt. Col. Stephen M. Duryea.

Col. Lee C. Freeman, 32nd Hospital Center commander, presided over the change of command.

Freeman said Marquart’s presence, leadership, skill and perseverance helped him excel as the first commander of the 115th Field Hospital.

“Your command has been nothing less than impressive,” he said. “Your team successfully met the Army’s need with the Force Design Update from a combat support hospital to a hospital center/field hospital construct to meet the changing demands of Army doctrine and Department of Defense requirements.”

Freeman praised the 115th Field Hospital under Marquart.

“You established a new unit and culture; deployed the newly established field hospital to the JRTC training area and provided support to JRTC, rotated units and deployed Soldiers during COVID-19 and numerous severe weather events,” he said.

Marquart said the 115th Field Hospital should be proud of the way they have achieved greatness and represented JRTC, 1st Medical Brigade and the Army.

“This unit of extraordinary Soldiers and noncommissioned officers moved across the country to train at the National Training Center, deployed three task forces to Kosovo Force — a North Atlantic Treaty Organization led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, deployed a 70 person Task Force Evacuare to (Iraq) support COVID-19 operations, provided the main force with COVID-19 screening for nine months and more. These Soldiers not only accomplished these tasks, but excelled while doing them,” he said.

Marquart thanked Freeman for trusting, guiding and supporting his efforts as well as those that helped make his tenure as commander of the 115th Field Hospital a success, including his Family.

He ended by sharing wisdom given by his grandfather m.

“He taught me a few important things — always work hard, never be frightened of failure — instead, be frightened of not trying. That has been the foundation of my leadership,” he said.

Freeman welcomed Duryea to the team and told him he would have many opportunities to lead these fine Soldiers.

“You will help ensure that we, as leaders, share our lessons learned, minimize their challenges and maximize their success,” he said.

Duryea said it is an honor and privilege to stand in the company of warrior medics and the Silver Knight family.

“I look forward to the opportunities ahead. Let’s make it happen,” he said.