USAMMA hosts detachment change of command ceremony

By C.J. LovelaceMarch 22, 2023

Passing the colors
1st Lt. Andrew Whittenbarger, center left, passes the unit colors of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment to Sgt. 1st Class Tie Wu during a change of command ceremony March 17 at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Whittenbarger assumed command during the event, with Wu taking responsibility as detachment sergeant. Also pictured are USAMMA Commander Col. Gary Cooper, left, and outgoing detachment commander, Maj. Chris Wright. (Photo Credit: C.J. Lovelace) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT DETRICK, Md. -- The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency hosted a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, or HHD, change of command and responsibility ceremony March 17, celebrating the successes of the outgoing command team while welcoming the new.

Through the passing of the colors, Maj. Chris Wright passed command of the unit to 1st Lt. Andrew Whittenbarger. The event also served as a change of responsibility for the unit’s senior enlisted leader, as Sgt. 1st Class Floyd Daley turned over his detachment sergeant role to Sgt. 1st Class Tie Wu.

USAMMA's HHD command provides administrative management, enforcement and accountability of all military personnel for the organization of roughly 300 Soldiers, civilians and contractors. The detachment commander implements unit policies, oversees the health and welfare of the agency's Soldiers and provides leader development to the organization's service members.

USAMMA is one of three direct reporting units to Army Medical Logistics Command, the Army’s life cycle management command for medical materiel. Both units are headquartered at Fort Detrick.

USAMMA Commander Col. Gary Cooper served as the presiding officer of the ceremony. He thanked Wright and Daley for their steadfast leadership over the past two years through several complex mission sets, including support for Afghan refugees, European preparedness and more.

“Despite the challenges and obstacles, the detachment leaders and team have made a lasting impact in our MEDLOG mission, improving health readiness support for years to come,” Cooper said. “A big salute and hats off to Maj. Wright and Sgt. 1st Class Daley and the detachment for their full support and dedication to the AMLC and USAMMA commands.

“In summary, the command team has had an amazing couple years, but they’re not done,” he added, “so keep running.”

Whittenbarger and Wu both thanked their predecessors for their efforts to ensure a smooth transition and pledged to keep their momentum going.

“I’m looking forward to showing up and working hard for each and every one of you, each and every day,” said Whittenbarger, a native of Kingston, Tennessee.

Whittenbarger is a distinguished military graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Prior to joining the detachment, Whittenbarger served as treatment platoon leader and executive officer for the 546th Medical Company (Area Support). Before that, he served as the executive officer for the 43rd Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support, 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade, from 2019 to 2021.

Wu emigrated from China to the U.S. with his mother in 2002, later enlisting in the Army in 2006 as a medical supply specialist. He’s completed two combat tours in support of operations Iraqi Freedom, New Hope and New Dawn.

Wu comes to the USAMMA HHD having most recently served as operations sergeant for the 2nd Sustainment Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, U.S. Forces Korea.

“For the outgoing command team, I thank you for taking the time to assure 1st Lt. Whittenbarger and I are set for success and ready to take on the mantle,” Wu said. “… I wish you both nothing but success in your future endeavors.”

Reflecting on their time leading the HHD, Wright and Daley thanked their families, senior leaders and staff members -- both military and civilian -- for the support and opportunity to be successful, despite challenging circumstances for an organization with a global footprint.

“It is a challenging and exciting environment to have had the opportunity to work in,” Wright said. “I thank every last Soldier that I have had the opportunity to train with, to lead and allow me to serve.”