Army surgeon general visits Fort Benning community

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, U.S. Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, takes a selfie with Col. Marie Dominquez, commander of Martin Army Community Hopital and other command team members, as Soldiers of Fort Benning Medical Department Activities watch during early morning physical training at Fort Benning June 28. (photo by Reginald Rogers)

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, U.S. Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, takes a selfie with Col. Marie Dominquez, commander of Martin Army Community Hopital and other command team members, as Soldiers of Fort Benning Medical Department Activities watch during early morning physical training at Fort Benning June 28. (photos by Reginald Rogers)

By Reginald Rogers, Martin Army Community Hospital Public Affairs /

The 44th Army Surgeon General and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command spent a day with Fort Benning’s leadership team, the command, staff and Soldiers at Martin Army Community Hospital June 28.

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, along with MEDCOM sergeant major Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald C. Ecker answered the call of reveille and joined Soldiers of Fort Benning’s Medical Department Activities in performing physical training.

Following the physical training session, West and Ecker addressed the Soldiers during the cool down portion.

“Nothing against the great folks at the Pentagon,” she said, “but my most favorite part of this job is actually getting out and spending time with Soldiers like you. I really enjoy getting to know every one of the Soldiers who keep our fighting force healthy and ready for whatever challenge or mission that is required of our Army.”

Ecker led the Soldiers during the cool down, while also reiterating how important they are to the Army. He encouraged them to value the importance of good health and staying ready for the Army’s requirements.

A lover of selfies (photos taken with her cell phone), West took several selfies with MEDDAC Soldiers and one outside of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, where she and Ecker met with Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, MCoE’s commanding general and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Metheny, MCoE’s command sergeant major.

Following her visit to MCoE, West was treated to a tour of MACH’s new facility. She also served as guest speaker at the graduation ceremony for a class of new Army doctors from MACH’s residency program.

The mission of the residency program is to create a professional learning experience for military primary care physicians by instructing them on comprehensive patient and Family-centered care, using the Army Medical Home standard, West said.

As new primary care physicians, the graduates will be able to proudly care for active-duty, retired and veteran service members, as well as their Families. West graduated from MACH Residency Program in 1992. Her graduation photo is located on the new Residency Program Hall of Fame, which was erected last week.

West presented several coins to Soldiers and hospital staff members to show appreciation for the efforts and making MACH a top-notch facility.

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, U.S. Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, assists Col. Daniel Irizarry in treating a "casualty" during a demonstration about Squad Overmatch during her visit to the post. (photo by Reginald Rogers)

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, U.S. Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, assists Col. Daniel Irizarry in treating a “casualty” during a demonstration about Squad Overmatch during her visit to the post.

She also met with Brig. Gen. William Cole, program executive officer for Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, based out of Huntsville, Alabama. Cole hosted a viewing of the Squad Overmatch Study – Tactical Combat Casualty Care, which showcases the very best in state-of-the-art battlefield care.

The Squad Overmatch Program features new gear, such as the MILES Casualty Display device, which interfaces with current simulation equipment, allowing Army medics to receive interactive instructions on how to treat severe combat casualties, Cole explained. The program features reality-based, futuristic training for various combat-related injuries, thus teaching Soldiers how to save lives faster and more efficiently.

MEDCOM is comprised of three regional health commands, the Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Army Medical Department Center and School.

As surgeon general, West provides advice and assistance to the Secretary of the Army and the Army chief of staff on all health care matters pertaining to the U.S. Army and its military health care system. She also serves as the commander of the U.S. Army Medical command, which requires her to oversee more than 48 health care platforms that provide care to nearly 4 million active-duty members of all services, retirees and their Family members. In addition, she is also responsible for development, policy direction, organization and overall management of an integrated Armywide health service system and is the medical materiel developer for the Army; and oversees all aspects of Army medicine, including medical research geared toward maintaining a healthy fighting force.

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