FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Soldiers and civilians with the Fort Riley Medical Department Activity bid farewell to Col. Michael Heimall and welcomed Col. Barry Pockrandt during a change of command ceremony July 13 on Cavalry Parade Field here.

Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle, commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, presided over the ceremony.

In a traditional act that represents a symbolic transfer of leadership, the medical department activity colors were passed from Heimall to Pockrandt, who will now lead IACH's Soldiers and civilians in providing health care to the community.

During the ceremony, Doyle informed those in attendance of the many accomplishments the command has had under Heimall's leadership.

"As a result of a 34 percent growth in the beneficiary population when the 1st Infantry Division returned here from Europe, Mike was instrumental in growing the civilian workforce by 383 full time equivalent staff," Doyle said. "Additionally, Colonel Heimall oversaw $600 million in renovation for medical infrastructure."

Doyle also stated that Heimall encouraged his staff to show compassion and care with patients. As a result of his leadership, "Irwin's Interactive Customer Evaluation, or "ICE," satisfaction increased by more than nine percent from fiscal year 2010," he said.

Praising the command, Doyle said the MEDDAC command team "is among the best in the region and possibly all of (U.S. Army Medical Command)."

While turning his attention to the new commander, Doyle said, "Your new leader, Col. Pockrandt, is the leader who will guide you into the future. He is a perfect fit as you transition from this 1958 facility to a state-of-the-art medical facility in 2014."

Heimall thanked the Soldiers out on the field during his farewell speech and said, "You represent our single purpose in Army Medicine -- to provide the best possible care for those Soldiers, both past and present, and their Families who support them."

Heimall said it was an honor and privilege to lead such a dynamic and dedicated team.

"I am so very proud of what they have accomplished and have great expectations for what they will deliver to the Fort Riley community under Colonel Pockrandt's leadership," he said.

Heimall has been the medical department activity commander since July 2010, and is departing for a new assignment as the chief of staff for Western Regional Medical Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Pockrandt served as the commander for the Army Health Clinic, U.S. Southern Command, in Doral, Fla.