Col. Carlos Tamez relinquished duties as the commander of the Army Reserve Medical Command’s 3rd Medical Training Brigade to Col. Sarolyn Morgan during a ceremony Oct. 16 at the MacArthur Pavilion at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
Change of command ceremonies are a military tradition that represent a transfer of authority and responsibility for units or commands. The history, tradition, and accomplishments of the command are embodied in the colors, which is the guidon or organizational flag of the unit and represents the organization and its commander. The passing of colors from an outgoing commander to an incoming commander ensures that the unit and its Soldiers are never without official leadership, represents a continuation of trust, and signifies an allegiance of Soldiers to their unit's commander.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey McCarter, AR-MEDCOM deputy commanding general, presided over the ceremony, accepting the colors from Tamez as he relinquished command and handing them to Morgan, symbolizing the transferring of authority.
“I am so excited to come into this position!,” declared Morgan an Arlington, Texas resident. “It’s a chance to prepare, on a global scale, those who are going to serve.”
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the 3rd MTB serves as the doctrinal experts on Army Health Systems for the Army Reserve Combat Support Training Program. In performing this mission, the unit designs, plans, and executes world-class medical collective training for Army Reserve, National Guard, Active Component, and Joint Medical Forces in collective and unit readiness exercises including Regional Medic, Global Medic, and Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercises.”
It’s that focus on people that Tamez will miss, as he retires after more than three decade of service including deployments to South America, Bosnia-Herzegovina and multiple deployments to Iraq. While acknowledging there were things he was happy to be finished with, Tamez, a Weslaco, Texas resident, said there was one part of the Army he would miss. “I know I’ll miss the people,” he said. “I had wonderful people around me, I had wonderful mentors, I had wonderful people who set good example for me -- I am very grateful for that.”
The highlight of Tamez’s service were his deployments to Iraq, where he led a Medical Evacuation company that distinguished itself by successfully accomplishing 1,662 combat missions, evacuating 1,946 patients and flying more than 2,222 combat hours.
“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to go in and MEDEVAC wounded sons and daughters from the battlefield,” Tamez added, calling it the memory of a lifetime. “It’s a huge responsibility, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top that.”
The hosting officer for the event, McCarter also recognized Tamez’s legacy. “When I think about Carlos Tamez and the legacy he’s built here at the 3rd MTB, it’s mostly about Soldiers,” he said. “It’s about training too, that’s our mission, I got it, but it’s mostly about building Soldiers.”
McCarter doesn’t see the soldier focus changing for Mustang brigade anytime soon. “What’s interesting is the incoming commander is going to be the same way,” he said. “I’m very excited about (Morgan) coming in and being the leader over Mustang medics and focusing on Soldiers, and the people, and families.”