1st Med Changes Command

By: Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) PAO

The 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) welcomed in a new commander and bid farewell to an old one at a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field, Aug. 16.

Col. Robert D. Tenhet assumed command of the 1st Med. Bde., as Col. James S. Rice said good-bye to the medical unit he commanded for more than two years. 

“Some commanders say this moment is bitter sweet…but to me there is nothing bitter about it,” said Rice, as he addressed the brigade formation and guests at the ceremony. “I have had the distinct pleasure to have led this great unit and to train, deploy, live and work with these outstanding Soldiers,” he said.

As Rice leaves to be the Director of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program in Washington D.C., Tenhet is arriving from Fort Bragg where he recently served as Chief of Staff for administration at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C.

“It’s truly a distinct honor and privilege to assume command of the 1st Medical Brigade today,” Tenhet said. “I am cognizant of the high level of preparedness of the [1st Med. Bde.] Silver Knights.”

I will do my utmost to take care of 1st Med. Bde. Soldiers and ensure they are and continue be ready at a moments notice, Tenhet said.

Hours after Tenhet took command of the 1st Med. Bde., the 566th Area Support Hospital and the 546th ASMC prepared to deploy Aug. 16 and 17 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“It takes a special kind of person to step up to the plate and serve the country they love, it lends credence to our constitution and our way of life,” Tenhet said of his two medical units. “These Soldiers have and continue to serve this great nation to that end.”

Tenhet earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and received a commission in the Medical Service Corps at Elon College, North Carolina in 1984 and holds a Masters degree in healthcare administration from U.S. Army-Baylor University.

The 1st Medical Brigade is the largest and one of the most diverse medical brigades in the Army. It provides command and control to over 4,500 Soldiers located throughout six installations, supporting Soldiers assigned to 13th SC (E) and III Corps. 

The 1st Med. Bde. headquarters most recently deployed Nov. 2005 to Kuwait in support of OIF and returned Oct. 2006.