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Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Fort Belvoir Holds Second Change of Command

26 June 2023

From Bobbie A. Camp, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic Public Affairs and Outreach

Capt. Melissa Austin turned over command of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Fort Belvoir to Capt. Tracey Giles during a ceremony in the Woodlawn Chapel on board U.S. Army Base Fort Belvoir, June 23.
The ceremony was presided by Rear Adm. Matthew Case, commander, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFL), and chief, Medical Service Corps, who highlighted Austin’s extraordinary leadership while serving as the first commanding officer of NMRTC Belvoir.

“Melissa has skillfully led this incredible NMRTC, supporting the joint forces that we are entrusted to care for while ensuring individual readiness to support our warfighters,” said Case.

Austin, the daughter of a career Army officer, assumed command in March 2022 as the first commanding officer.

“Never forget that we have accomplished so much in a short period of time,” reflected Austin. “We developed our organizational structure, we established programs and policies, and most importantly, we built a Navy identity. You should be proud, and I want to thank each member of this command for being a part of this journey.”

During her tenure, she leveraged hospital capabilities to support the Navy Medicine Pharmacy Operational Readiness Training pilot program and established strategic partnerships with sister service leadership that afforded personnel valuable joint training opportunities.

“The last 15 months have been some of the most meaningful of my life,” expressed Austin. “I never saw myself as a commanding officer, but I will be forever grateful that I was privileged to be a part of your lives.”

In keeping with naval heritage, the officers each read their orders and after a short exchange of salutes, authority and responsibility was transferred. Austin will report to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) National Caption Region as the director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Giles, a native of Washington, D.C., served as executive officer of NMRTC Belvoir before assuming command. Her husband and mother placed her command pin on her uniform when she took command.

“To my NMRTC Fort Belvoir team,” said Giles during her remarks. “I am humbled and honored to lead such an exceptionally talented and diverse community of Sailors. As your commanding officer, I’m deeply committed to fostering a culture of excellence and professional development.”

NMRTC Fort Belvoir maximizes warfighter performance through optimized medical readiness for operational requirements, enhances the readiness of the medical force to sustain expeditionary medical capabilities, and trains and develops the Navy Medicine force.

NMFL, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, delivers operationally focused medical expertise and capabilities to meet Fleet, Marine and Joint Force requirements by providing equipment, sustainment and maintenance of medical forces during combat operations and public health crises. NMFL provides oversight for 21 NMRTCs, logistics, and public health and dental services throughout the U.S. East Coast, U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba, Hawaii, Europe, and the Middle East.

Navy Medicine – represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals – provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.

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