FORT DETRICK, Md. -- Over his 23-year Army career, Col. Marc R. Welde has never served previously at Fort Detrick.
Nevertheless, he said coming here has felt a bit like a homecoming.
Welde, a seasoned medical logistician whose assignments have taken him all over the globe, assumed command of U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command during a ceremony Aug. 24.
Welde previously served at two different AMLC direct reporting units -- as deputy commander for operations at U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe and commander of U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea.
“When I walked through the doors the other morning, it felt like home,” Welde said. “I guess that feeling was because I’ve worked with many of you over the years and have benefited from the incredible global support you provide. From being a customer during five deployments to serving as the USAMMC-K commander or the DCO at USAMMC-E, I know firsthand what the command does for readiness and health care delivery, and that excites me to be a part of it.”
Maj. Gen. Robert L. Edmonson, commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, presided over the assumption of command ceremony inside Fort Detrick’s auditorium full of past and present Army medical logistics leaders.
The ceremony included the traditional passing of the colors to signify Edmonson’s trust in Welde to lead the organization.
In addition to welcoming Welde, Edmonson took the opportunity to formally thank U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Commander Col. Gary Cooper, who stepped up to serve as AMLC’s commander for the past six months following the retirement of Col. Tony Nesbitt in March.
“Today’s a win-win because not only do we get a chance to welcome Marc to the team, but Gary, we’re just going to move you right upstairs back to your old job,” Edmonson said with a smile. “You’re not going too far away and we’re thankful to have you back fulltime as the commander of USAMMA.”
Edmonson recognized the families of Welde and Cooper for their unwavering support, as well as the command’s dedicated workforce and numerous achievements in recent years, including those under Cooper’s leadership over the past few months.
Several global operations, such as the COVID-19 response, the Afghan humanitarian missions and support to Ukraine, “absolutely could not have been as successful as they have been to date without each and every one of the teammates” throughout AMLC, Edmonson said.
“It just goes to show how important the MEDLOG enterprise is to delivering readiness to the United States Army,” he said. “Setting the conditions at the very beginning and then sustaining throughout the operation.”
AMLC, which includes more than 800 people on three continents in over a dozen locations, serves as the Army’s Life Cycle Management Command, or LCMC, for medical materiel. The command has a global footprint, with three direct reporting units that include USAMMA, USAMMC-E and USAMMC-K.
Edmonson underscored AMLC’s reputation as a “people first” organization, urging Welde to continue listening to his workforce as he builds on the organization’s momentum under Cooper’s leadership.
“You are coming to an awesome team at the right place at the right time,” he said. “I ask you to inspire this organization and pick up where Gary left off. Take the organization to even greater heights.”
Welde, who was born in Spain, lived in Germany for much of his childhood and now calls Utah home, first enlisted in the Utah National Guard in 1998. He later earned commission through the Army ROTC program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
Prior to coming to AMLC, he served as commander of the 32nd Medical Brigade, based at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
As the AMLC commander, Welde pledged to maintain a climate of respect for all people in the workplace, vowing to give his all in leading and fighting for the resources needed to accomplish the command’s collective mission sets.
“I will be a loyal teammate in a sport where winning matters,” he said. “And we will win!”