FORT DETRICK, Md. -- U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command held a relinquishment of command ceremony March 10 at Fort Detrick, bidding farewell to outgoing Commander Col. Tony Nesbitt.
Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson II, commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, presided over the ceremony and credited Nesbitt’s leadership of the organization as it navigated multiple mission sets over the past two years.
“I knew that Tony’s arrival into this organization meant that it would be led by an individual with the knowledge, skills and experience -- the field experience -- that’s absolutely necessary to leading this kind of organization,” Edmonson said. “… You continuous proved time and time again why you were the right person for this job.”
Nesbitt assumed command of AMLC, the Army’s life cycle management command for medical materiel, in July 2021. He is the second commander since the organization was created in 2019.
Under his leadership, AMLC “went into a full-fledged sprint” to support COVID-19 vaccinations, the Afghan humanitarian mission, support for Ukraine and more -- all the while establishing new life cycle management and medical materiel sustainment practices.
“You have literally saved lives by ensuring vaccinations reach the troops, reach the families, reach the families across the globe,” Edmonson said of AMLC.
“While it’s true you walked into a strong organization, it’s also true that you are a great leader and you picked up the momentum that had already been started … in a relatively new organization, which is not easy to lead, shape or influence – but you did,” Edmonson added.
As Nesbitt prepares for his upcoming retirement after more than 30 years of service, Col. Gary Cooper assumed the role of interim AMLC commander. Since August 2021, Cooper has served as commander of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, an AMLC direct reporting unit.
Reflecting on his career, Nesbitt thanked the many senior leaders who had faith in him to command at different levels. He also recognized the experiences and friendships of every coworker -- military and civilian alike -- through the years “who just can’t be replaced.”
“I’m going to miss everyone,” he said. “I’m going to miss those experiences. I’m going to miss this command.”
Nesbitt said the opportunity to command AMLC was a perfect way to cap off his career, serving with “the best group of logisticians anywhere on the planet.”
His parting words for the organization? “Just keep being who you are.”
“Keep doing what you do,” he said. “As I’ve said before, there is no other expert organization in the Army and DOD that understands medical logistics like you do.”
With that, Nesbitt reminded the command to always stay agile and open to change as it evolves to address future medical logistics needs in support of the operational force.
“Always posture for the next thing. Don’t worry about what’s already happened,” he said. “Execute what you’re doing and worry about the next thing you can affect.
“There is no medical readiness without medical logistics readiness.”