When Brig. Gen. Thad Collard, Army Reserve Medical Command’s new deputy commanding general, who also fulfills the role of Assistant Surgeon General for Mobilization, Readiness and Reserve Affairs, Office of the Surgeon General, found out he would be returning to Army Reserve Medical Command he described his feelings with one word.
“Excitement,” he said. “I’m excited to come back. It’s an excellent command with great Soldiers.” Collard, who among other positions at AR-MEDCOM was most recently the commander of the Western Medical Area Readiness Support Group from 2017 through 2019, added that the appeal of the position is its purpose. “It’s a great blend between policy, where you can make a difference across the enterprise, while at the same time developing leaders and making an impact on Soldiers.”
Collard, who stepped into the AR-MEDCOM deputy commanding general position on November 11, was promoted to brigadier general that same day in a ceremony at the US Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Collard’s blend of assignments brings a wide range of experiences to the table. He comes to AR-MEDCOM from serving at the Army War College as the John Parker Chair of Reserve Component Studies while also serving as the Health Human Resources Army Reserve Consultant to the Surgeon General. In addition, he has held both command and staff positions with the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), most recently as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel (G-1). “I have a mix of experience,” Collard said. “I’m looking forward to using my experiences to bring forth the vision of the commanding general.”
Possibly the biggest draw to the position comes from the chance to interact with Soldiers and leaders at every level. Serving in the Army War College was a great experience, he added, but impacting Soldiers across all levels of service will be nice to return to.
Initially however, Collard sees himself focused on listening. “I plan to come in and get the pulse of the organization as it sits now,” he said. “I intend to make sure we are prepared to meet every mission our command is called on to support, worldwide, and meet the commanding general’s intent to enhance Soldier skills and meet the needs of those who depend on us.”