MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – From their earliest days of troops drilling on horseback to prepare to join World War I to today, the parade grounds of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., known as Watkins Field since the Korean War era, have provided Soldiers the space to perform. Madigan Army Medical Center made use of the grounds for its assumption of command ceremony where Col. Jonathan C. Taylor took command of the hospital on August 4.
Through a wildfire-induced haze, Mt. Rainier stood watch as Brig. Gen. Edward Bailey, the new commanding general for Regional Health Command-Pacific, presided over the sunny, morning ceremony.
Before offering further remarks, Bailey had to take a moment to get a good look at the small, but significant civilian formation on the field.
“I'm gonna turn around just because it's always so cool to see civilians in formation. So, thank you very much; it's awesome that you're out here,” said Bailey.
The contingent represents more than 3,300 civilian physicians, nurses and support staff who constitute some two-thirds of Madigan’s total personnel.
The ceremonial handoff of the colors looked lopsided as an assumption of command ceremony has only the incoming commander taking the colors from the presiding officer without an outgoing commander involved. Despite this formal, ceremonial element, Madigan has had solid leadership since its last official commander in October 2020.
“For the past 10 months, (Col.) Scottie Roofe has done an extraordinary job of guiding this organization through an unprecedented time in our nation's history,” noted Bailey of the tenure of Roofe as Madigan’s acting commander.
Bailey also remarked that Roofe assumed command with no notice. In Roofe’s final town hall with staff last week, Madigan Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris pointed out that most leaders coming into the hospital’s command position have months of lead time and consultation with current leaders prior to taking on the role. Roofe, as Harris said, had the five minute drive back from the regional office.
During his time commanding, Roofe steered the military treatment facility as it rolled out COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the base, provided frequent consultation to the installation’s commanding general on all things medical and aided each of Madigan’s units as they gained new commanders.
“Despite operating in a pandemic environment for the past year, Scottie also led the team through a highly successful Joint Commission survey, all while continuing to expertly balance Madigan's priorities of healthcare delivery and providing readiness to our Soldiers and medical personnel on JBLM,” said Bailey. “Scotty, as you transition back to your position as Madigan's deputy commanding officer, I want to thank you for stepping up during a very challenging time and doing a fantastic job.”
Col. Jonathan “Craig” Taylor has worn the uniform for more than two decades. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (cum laude) and was a Distinguished Military Cadet in 1995. He received his medical degree from University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1999 as an Alpha Omega Alpha scholar and completed his residency in family medicine at Womack Army Medical Center in 2002. He also completed a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
His variety of leadership and staff positions have placed him in command at the Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker, Ala., to the Army surgeon general’s office and on two deployments to Afghanistan. He comes to Madigan from the command surgeon position with Africa Command.
“I've known Craig since 1999 when we served together at Womack Army Medical Center,” Bailey said. “He's an officer of character, intelligence and drive, and it's no surprise he was selected to command one of our premier medical centers and readiness platforms. He possesses impeccable credentials; he's a proven leader and he brings the right combination of experiences to this command assignment.”
Bailey added that Taylor comes from a proud military family, his father having served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense.
Taylor threaded the word that comes to his mind when considering his new role – grateful – through his remarks.
“I am grateful for this Madigan team, who I know stands watch 24/7 – 365, defending the readiness, defending the health of America's Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Space Force Guardians, all of those of the joint base community and their families. Your selfless sacrifice every day, with every encounter enables our joint force in turn to defend our nation. It's my privilege to join you in this critical mission,” said Taylor.
Taylor also, understandably, used another term as well.
“I'm truly honored today to join this extraordinary team in this extraordinary community, and certainly during this extraordinary time,” said Taylor.
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