By Sarah KnowltonJune 17, 2022

Fort Shafter, Hawaii—Gen. Charles A. Flynn, Commanding General US Army Pacific, hosted the 18th Medical Command Change of Command ceremony for outgoing Commander Maj. Gen. Michael L. Place and incoming Commander, Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi at historic Palm Circle on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

This traditional ceremony marked the transition from one Commander to the next. Speakers were Flynn, Place and Lodi respectively. Themes for the ceremony were service, gratitude, accomplishment and innovation.

Following his service in 18th MEDCOM, Place will continue his military service at the Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG), as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), United States Army Medical Command.

In regards to Place’s new position, Flynn said, “It brings me tremendous joy and a sense of assurance knowing that one of our very best in the business is going to continue in such a pivotal and critical role at a consequential time.”

Gen. Charles A. Flynn, USARPAC Commanding General speaks at 18th MEDCOM Change of Command Ceremony
Gen. Charles A. Flynn, USARPAC Commanding General (Photo Credit: Photo by US Army soldier Cpt. Christopher Kim) VIEW ORIGINAL

Flynn also commemorated Lodi for her service and the spirit of service in her family. He recognized Lodi and her sister, Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett as the first sisters to achieve the rank of General Officer in the US Army.

Following Flynn’s speech, Place began by thanking Gen. and Mrs. Flynn, Command Sgt. Maj. Scott and Mrs. Brzak, Mr. Allen Hoe, and all of the General and Flag Officers, Commanders and Command Sergeants Major, as well as the Soldiers, family and friends of the 18th Medical Command attending in person or virtually.

Maj. Gen. Place and wife greet Gen. Flynn after the 18th MEDCOM Change of Command Ceremony
Maj. Gen. Place and wife greet Gen. Flynn after the 18th MEDCOM Change of Command Ceremony (Photo Credit: Photo by US Army soldier 1st Lt. Yang Guo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Place also gave a special ‘mahalo’ to the 25th Infantry Division Band, the Command Chaplain, Lt. Col. Gabriel Mizerani and Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery for their participation in the ceremony.

In a vote of confidence for his successor, Place said, “I am incredibly pleased that Brig. Gen. Lodi is here to command the 18th…I'm extremely confident she has the right operational background and leadership qualities and abilities to take this organization to the next level.”

Place stated they worked together in the 1st Medical Brigade in preparation for an Afghanistan deployment rotation, and mentioned the fact this is not the first time he relinquished command to Lodi. Both previously served as Commander of Regional Health Command-Atlantic.

Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi takes command of 18th MEDCOM (DS)
Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi takes command of 18th MEDCOM (DS) (Photo Credit: Photo by US Army soldier 1st Lt. Yang Guo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Following Place, Lodi was quick to state, “I do not underestimate the opportunity I have been given to serve this theater and represent Army Medicine to this command. To all the mission partners, most notably the community partners; both in person and virtual, I look forward to serving with and for you.”

“(I am) eager to synchronize Army Medicine effects in this theater and execute the Surgeon General's intent in prioritizing investment in the theater medical commands in general and INDOPACOM specifically,” Lodi said, “supporting the warfighter and operationalizing medical capability - is both my background and passion.”

Lodi discussed the reasons why she is committed to leveraging relationships in the area of operations, such as to synchronize and integrate the medical effort; build readiness, interoperability, and cohesion across INDOPACOM, support modernization, and influence investment in theater priority requirements.

Lodi ended her speech with, “One team. One fight. Pacific Knights.”

All speakers gave thanks to the Commanders’ spouses, Mrs. Jackie Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Retired Henry Vance and their respective children for their support of military service.

To view the video go to: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/847294/18th-medical-command-deployment-support-change-command-ceremony