HONOLULU -- Soldiers, staff, family members and government civilians, along with local leaders, gathered at Tripler Army Medical Center, Nov. 1, to bid farewell to Col. J. Anson Smith, outgoing commander of Pacific Regional Medical Command and TAMC, and to welcome the incoming commander, Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle.

Smith has commanded PRMC and Tripler since Oct. 4 when Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, the previous commander, retired. Under Gallagher's command, Smith had served as the PRMC Chief of Staff since June 15, 2010.

"When there is a change of command it is understood that a fluid transition of leadership and continuity of the mission are paramount to continued success," explained Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, U.S. Army Surgeon General and commander, U.S. Army Medical Command. "A leader must set clear expectations and share their visions. It is committed and contemplative leaders that never lose sight of providing the best care anywhere to our Soldiers and their families."

Smith has been selected to serve as the G3 (operations officer) of Southern Regional Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He said he has been humbled by the opportunity to command the region, even for a short time.

"The accomplishments of (PRMC and TAMC) have many and they have been phenomenal," Smith said. "They have been the front runners of many of Army Medicine's initiatives.

"I want to thank (everyone) for all your professionalism and support and it has been my honor to serve with you," Smith added.

Smith said he believes that Doyle is the perfect choice for the region and Tripler as the national security strategy shifts to focus on the Pacific region.

Doyle, who has already served the U.S. Army for 30 years, said that in 1995 when he visited Hawaii to participate in the Honolulu Marathon, he knew he wanted to serve here one day.

"It will be my pleasure to work side-by-side with each of you, our service and (Veterans Affairs) partners, as we write and execute the future for health support in the Pacific theater," Doyle said.

Doyle said he plans to continue the tradition and standard of excellence set by the previous command team.

"Since 1907, this great medical center has been a shining beacon of health care and comfort in the Pacific basin," Doyle said. "Together we will ensure it remains the best and most powerful medical center and regional medical command in the world."

Tripler Army Medical Center is the home of the Pacific Regional Medical Command. In addition to Tripler and Troop Command, PRMC includes U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks, U.S. Medical Activity-Japan; U.S. Medical Activity-Korea; and the Warrior Transition Battalion stationed at Schofield Barracks.