With a ceremonial passing of the colors, Col. (promotable) Dennis P. LeMaster assumed command of Regional Health Command Europe from Brig. Gen. Norvell V. Coots June 24 on Sembach Kaserne.
Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, surgeon general and commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command, presided over the ceremony. LeMaster was previously the commander at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado. Coots is set to retire in July, ending a distinguished career of nearly 36 years of service.
West praised both the outgoing and incoming commanders.
“I’ve known (Coots) since we were dermatology residents. He is not only a superb leader but he is also an outstanding person,” West said, referencing some of the humanitarian work Coots is involved in. “We will miss him, and the Army will miss him. While we are sad to see him go, we are happy to welcome an equally qualified and competent leader in Col. LeMaster.”
She also said that LeMaster, who will be promoted to brigadier general July 8, is the right person at the right time to command RHCE.
“Your knowledge and experience will be vital to ensuring Army medicine is the nation’s premier expeditionary and globally integrated medical force, ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” West said.
LeMaster commended the RHCE team for its reputation of excellence and committed to maintaining and enhancing the team’s efforts.
“We will continue to build upon the magnificent work already done,” LeMaster said. “We will be globally integrated and interoperable, leading the way in military medicine as we sustain and strengthen enduring relationships with our NATO allies, our strategic multinational partners and our sister services. Such collaboration is vital to Strong Europe and will allow us to mass the full spectrum of medical care for those who need it, at the moment they need it.”
Regional Health Command Europe supports military personnel and families serving in U.S. Army Europe, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S Central Command areas of operation. The command operates Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the only United States military referral center offering subspecialty care in Europe; a regional public health laboratory; Medical Department Activity Bavaria headquartered in Vilseck, Germany; 11 outpatient medical clinics; 14 dental clinics; and 16 veterinary clinics in military communities in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Spain and the United Kingdom.