FORT DRUM, New York (June 21, 2021) – The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Drum, officially welcomed its new command sergeant major during an assumption of command ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, June 17, 2021.
Command Sgt. Maj. Eric N. Price assumed responsibility as the MEDDAC’s senior enlisted leader during the ceremony by receiving the unit’s colors from Col. Rob Heath, the MEDDAC’s commander. The passing of the unit colors is a traditional gesture symbolizing the commander’s confidence in the command sergeant major’s ability to lead the MEDDAC Soldiers and serve as the principal advisor to the commander on enlisted matters.
“He’s been at the forefront of Army medicine for over 22 years,” said Col. Rob Heath, the MEDDAC commander. “I am totally competent in Command Sgt. Maj. Price and am extremely proud to have such a steadfast and sound (noncommissioned officer) leader that’s going to take the Fort Drum MEDDAC and Army Medicine into the future.”
Price comes to the MEDDAC from the 18th Medical Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, where he served as the clinical operations sergeant major. Throughout his career, he has served as a practical nurse, recruiter, detachment sergeant, first sergeant, and chief medical NCO, to name a few.
“(Command Sgt. Maj.) Price’s dedicated service has taken him all over the United States and all over the world,” Heath said. “(He) brings a proven record of performance and distinguished service to not just the MEDDAC but to the 10th Mountain Division and our entire Fort Drum community.”
After the ceremonial passing of the colors, Price addressed the MEDDAC and Fort Drum community for the first time as the organization’s senior enlisted leader.
“It’s important to maintain continuity, but it’s just as important to welcome change,” he said. “I look forward to serving alongside my commanders and enhancing the proficiency of the (MEDDAC).”
The assumption of responsibility ceremony was unique in that the MEDDAC didn’t have an outgoing command sergeant major to bid farewell. The previous enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Wendy Menendez, departed Fort Drum in April to begin the next phase of her Army career as a fellow at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas.
During the ceremony, Price said the leadership and dedication Menendez brought to the organization during her time as the command sergeant major will not be forgotten.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Menendez is truly a professional who will be a success in her future endeavors,” he said.
The Fort Drum MEDDAC provides high-quality healthcare and medical readiness support to the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, servicing more than 42,000 Soldiers, family members, retirees, Department of Defense and Army civilians, and Soldiers for life.