Brig. Gen. Mary V. Krueger, commanding general of Regional Health Command-Atlantic, passes the U.S. Army Medical Activity-Fort Jackson colors to incoming commander Col. Warren A. Stewart, during the MEDDAC change-of-command ceremony, June 14 at the Joe E. Mann Ballroom, Fort Jackson, S.C. Stewart succeeds Col. Tara L. Hall, who will become the new chief of staff at RHC-A, located at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Moncrief, MEDDAC welcomes new commander

By Reginald Rogers, Moncrief Public Affairs

Moncrief Army Health Clinic bade farewell to one commander, while welcoming its newest leader who will guide U.S. Army Medical Activity-Fort Jackson through as it transition to the military’s new electronic health system.

Col. Warren Stewart took over the reins of MEDDAC, during an afternoon ceremony June 14, at Fort Jackson’s Joe E. Mann Ballroom. Brig. Gen. Mary V. Krueger, commanding general of Regional Health Command-Atlantic presided over the event which saw Stewart assume command of MEDDAC from Col. Tara L. Hall. Hall departs Fort Jackson for an assignment to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where she will serve as the RHC-A chief of staff.

During the past two years, Hall has lead Fort Jackson MEDDAC through numerous ground-breaking events, including the COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the world from 2020 and into much of 2021.

Krueger spoke highly of both commanders, acknowledging the job that Hall has done as the Fort Jackson MEDDAC commander, and the greatness that she is sure Stewart will deliver.

“Col. Tara Hall delivered a brilliant performance, as she led the MEDDAC team over the past two years,” Krueger said during the ceremony. “Her commitment to excellence and her virtue of selfless service set the tone that allowed this team to support Fort Jackson’s 56,000 eligible beneficiaries in a COVID-19 environment, while sustaining the Army’s premiere Basic Combat Training pipeline that held more than 50,000 trainees annually.”

Krueger pointed out some of Hall’s achievements as the MEDDAC commander, such as establishing force health protection plans for at least 10 brigade combat teams, the reintegration of Moncrief Medical Home back into the Moncrief Main Clinic, maintaining oversight of a $35 million construction project, which included the renovation of the clinic’s 1st, 6th, and 12th floors, and standing up the Defense Health Agency’s Central South Carolina market. 

“Under her leadership and with the MEDDAC team’s support, the U.S. Army Training Center never ceased turning civilians into Soldiers, because remember, the enemy does not rest,” Krueger added.

Stewart comes to Fort Jackson from a job at the Pentagon, where he served as the assistant deputy, medical affairs for the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Some of his previous assignments include: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Belvoir, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Krueger said Stewart’s reputation precedes him, based on his work at the Pentagon, and added that he will bring valuable insight on the future of Army medicine to Fort Jackson. She spoke highly of Stewart and his wife Lori, who was also in attendance.

“(Col. Stewart) has already seen a lot of the challenges that Army Medicine has ahead of it and he brings that perspective and solutions to keep moving the ball forward here,” she said. “I am confident that this proud Army Family will serve this MEDDAC and the Fort Jackson community well.”

Hall reflected on her time at Moncrief, most of which included operations within the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we experienced our fair share of losses over the last two years, we’ve grieved for those in our Moncrief Family that we lost and with their extended families; but we also witnessed new life. We welcomed so many new employees into our Moncrief family, and we’ve been able to celebrate many births,” Hall said. All of this has reinforced the fact that life is precious, and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. So, live it well.

Hall also offered kind words and best wishes to her successor.

“Col. Stewart, you’ve been entrusted with this magnificent organization and beautiful family and I know you will cherish every moment of the next two years just as I have, and I wish you the best of luck, and God bless every one of you,” she said.

Stewart said he is looking forward to his next chapter as Fort Jackson’s medical commander.

“Lori and I are so excited to be here,” Stewart said. “This is a dream come true. I think for most officers, the pinnacle of their career is the brigade command. I picked Fort Jackson as my first choice, because of the mission that they have here and the reputation that this clinic has. This is the place that was right for Lori and I and we can’t wait to integrate ourselves into the community and build those relationships and maintain the relationships that Tara and Frank (Hall) have already built.”

U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier, along with numerous brigade commanders were in attendance at the ceremony.