1st Medical Brigade Change of Command

Story by Pfc. Fabian Ortega
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

13th Corps Support Command 1st Medical Brigade underwent a change of command ceremony held at 3 Corps headquarters here, June 3.

Col. James S. Rice, who was commissioned into Field Artillery, succeeds Col. Terry J. Walters in command of 1st Medical Brigade.

Rice, a native of Wisconsin, was commissioned from the ROTC program of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and holds a Master of Science degree in International Studies from Troy State University and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.

Rice recently served as commander of the 56th Medical Evacuation Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rice has also gained experience as commander while serving as commander of the 229th Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance), Fort Drum, New York and later serving as battalion executive officer, 421st Medical Evacuation Battalion, Wiesbaden, Germany. Rice is no stranger to the Fort Hood community, having served with 1st Calvary Division as a field medical assistant, Office of the Division Surgeon and as a medical platoon leader, with 2nd battalion, 5th Calvary early in his career.

1st Medical Brigade is the oldest color bearing medical unit in the United States Army and has a rich heritage of providing medical support to combat soldier since World War I. It was the first American unit committed to offensive operations in World War I. It is this battle, the Battle of Cantigny May 28, 1918, which the unit's Organization Day commemorates. In 1990, then known as 1st Medical Group, Soldiers deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Their contributions helped provide command and control for seven hospitals and two battalions in support of XVIII Airborne Corps Soldiers. In March 2003, the 1st Medical Brigade was deployed to Iraq.

The brigade continues to uphold its motto: Fortitude and Compassion.


1st Medical Brigade color guard
The 1st Medical Brigade color guard stands ready to hand off the Brigade guidon during the change of command ceremony June 3. Photo by Pfc. Fabian Ortega.