On June 22, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command hosted a Change of Command ceremony at Fort Detrick, Maryland, during which the responsibility of USAMRDC and Fort Detrick was transferred from Maj. Gen. Michael J. Talley to Brig. Gen. Anthony L. McQueen. The event was officiated by Gen. John M. Murray, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Futures Command.
After the official passing of the flag, Murray offered his thoughts on the accomplishments of USAMRDC.
"While most people don’t understand MRDC’s history, and while most Americans won’t understand what this Command has accomplished over the years, the impact of this Command is felt worldwide," said Murray.
Murray also supplied words of encouragement to Talley and McQueen, as both men begin new assignments and the next stages in their respective lives. Talley’s upcoming mission will send him to Falls Church, Virginia, where he will serve as Deputy Commanding General (Operations) for the U.S. Army Medical Command.
"When I promoted Mike this morning, I told him that the promotion isn’t all about the recognition, it’s more about his potential for future service and higher callings — and that’s exactly what Mike Talley is going to do," said Murray. "To maintain the reputation that this command enjoys requires determined, passionate and exceptional leadership, and to fill that role we could not have found a better Soldier and leader than Brig. Gen. Tony McQueen."
After his opening remarks, Murray offered the podium to Talley, who addressed the audience for the final time as USAMRDC and Fort Detrick Commanding General. In a heartfelt speech, Talley’s words brought about applause from the audience.
Reflecting on his last two years with USAMRDC, he said, "To say the last two years have been sporty would be an understatement. And no doubt, events like lab shutdowns, facility issues and, by the way, a global pandemic, have presented a host of challenges. But each time, these great people – this team of teams – have turned these challenges into opportunities."
While serving as USAMRDC Commanding General, Talley faced unprecedented odds, leading his team through the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. He led USAMRDC’s Direct Reporting Units and laboratories as they developed medical solutions to combat COVID-19 at both national and global levels. Under Talley’s leadership, USAMRDC saw great success in the areas of diagnostics development, therapeutics research and vaccine production.
In addition, the Command continued its work in various areas of military medicine, including overcoming multi-drug-resistant bacteria, increasing Warfighter survival on the battlefield, developing Future Vertical Lift platforms, launching the National Emergency Tele-critical Care Network and creating the Abbott i-STAT Alinity Traumatic Brain Injury plasma assay.
McQueen moves into this new role from his most recent assignment as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7 United States Army Medical Command and Director, Health Care Operations, Office of the Surgeon General/United States Army Medical Command.
McQueen began his military service after graduating from Fort Sam Houston State University in Texas – the state in which he was born and raised – where he was commissioned as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate in 1991. A graduate of the Army Medical Department Officer Basic Course, he also has completed the Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the National War College. He holds a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and a Master of Arts in Health Services Management.
Like his predecessor, he is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also completed two tours in the Republic of Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, and has held key leadership positions at the Medical Brigade and Brigade Combat Team levels, Division Staff, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence and the Office of the Surgeon General. McQueen has commanded at every level, from company through brigade at multiple stations around the world.
"Thank you for this opportunity to serve with and be a part of this tremendous organization that has such an important mission in shaping our Army today," said McQueen.
He concluded his remarks by encouraging the Command to continue their hard work and diligence, and promised to further the Command’s reputation for excellence during his tenure.
"I commit to you that we will continue to build on our legacy as the premier medical materiel developer responsible for medical research, development and acquisition," he said. "We all know that the Army’s number one priority is our people. My commitment to you is that the people of this great organization, will be my priority as we remain focused on enabling readiness in creating medical solutions to care for our Soldiers and their families."