Col. Clint Murray speaks at his Relinquishment of Command Ceremony, July 8, 2021. Murray commanded WRAIR for roughly ten months, leaving early to accept promotion to brigadier general.
Col. Clint Murray speaks at his Relinquishment of Command Ceremony, July 8, 2021. Murray commanded WRAIR for roughly ten months, leaving early to accept promotion to brigadier general. (Photo Credit: Lee Osberry) VIEW ORIGINAL

Col. Clint Murray relinquished command of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in a brief ceremony today here in Silver Spring, Md.

Murray gave up the command more than a year before he was originally planned to, as his nomination to brigadier general was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 24. Col. Robert O’Connell, WRAIR’s deputy commander, will serve as the acting commander until Murray’s official replacement arrives.

In the 10 months since Murray became its commander, WRAIR staff were integral in the fight against COVID-19, providing advice and support as part to the nation’s whole-of-government effort against the disease. The command also launched clinical trials for its own COVID-19 vaccine and released findings of the Behavioral Health Advisory Team, which provided specific strategies for unit and line-level leadership to be supportive and responsive to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Soldiers and their families.

Col. Murray said leaving WRAIR early—even to accept the honor of a promotion to brigadier general—was bittersweet. “The reason I was thrilled to command WRAIR was its mission and its people and they fully exceeded all expectations by leaps and bounds,” Murray said. “It was inspiring to watch WRAIR with speed, agility and flexibility transition to the COVID-19 pandemic requirements to detect, treat, prevent and support behavioral health challenge while maintaining their normal mission to maximize Soldier Health and World Health.”

Murray took command of WRAIR on August 28, 2020, after serving as the command surgeon of United States Forces Korea and United Nations, where he helped plan U.S. Forces’ early response to the pandemic in the region, which was credited with keeping the infection rate low.

Colonel Murray grew up in Lubbock, TX. He received his BS degree in Biochemistry from Texas Tech University in 1991, MD degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 1996, and Master of Strategic Study degree from the Army War College in 2015. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 1999 and a fellowship in Infectious Disease at Brooke Army Medical Center/San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium in 2002.