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NMRTU Diego Garcia Change of Charge Ceremony

01 July 2024

From Seaman Jordan Steis

DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory – Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Diego
DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory – Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Diego Garcia (NMRTU Diego Garcia) held a change of charge ceremony aboard Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia June 26, 2024. Cmdr. Clifton Butler transferred responsibility as the officer in charge (OIC) of NMRTU Diego Garcia to Cmdr. Kenneth Jenkins.
The ceremony, attended by distinguished guests including Capt. Pete J. Hatcher, commanding officer of NSF Diego Garcia, and Capt. Richard Gilliard, executive officer of U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Yokosuka Japan, commemorated not only the change in leadership, but also Butler’s service and dedication to NMRTU Diego Garcia.

Hatcher commended Butler for his outstanding leadership during his tenure, emphasizing his resilience in managing the complexities of providing medical care in one of the world’s most remote locations.
"It is an honor to stand before you today as we mark this significant occasion here at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia," Hatcher said. "This occasion serves not only as a ceremonial change of charge, but also as a time to reflect on accomplishments, recognize the challenges we face, and reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of medical readiness."
During his farewell address, Butler reflected on his year of service aboard Diego Garcia and expressed gratitude to his team for their unwavering support through numerous challenges.
“Together, we have achieved significant milestones, from successful surveys to transitioning to a new electronic health record system and coordinating large-scale contingency exercises,” he said.
Butler also extended thanks to his mentors, colleagues and family members whose support was crucial during his command.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team,” he said. “Your dedication and professionalism have been instrumental.”
Gilliard highlighted the critical role of NSF Diego Garcia in maintaining operational readiness.
“Cmdr. Butler led the great Diego Garcia team through multiple medical emergencies with superb communication back to the core and to the triad, while still maintaining and advocating for his sailors,” he said. “He has embraced and excelled in supporting our command mission.”
As incoming OIC, Jenkins conveyed his enthusiasm for the challenges ahead.
“It’s a privilege to join this esteemed team at NSF Diego Garcia,” he said. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation laid by Cmdr. Butler and working together to ensure medical readiness and support for our community.”
Gilliard echoed this sentiment, “Cmdr. Jenkins brings valuable experience and leadership to this command,” he said. “I have full confidence in his ability to lead.”
Jenkins expressed his readiness and optimism about his new role.
"I look forward to being a part of the team that supports the warfighters, their families, and veterans at Branch Health Clinic Diego Garcia," he said.

Story originally posted on DVIDS: NMRTU Diego Garcia Change of Charge Ceremony 

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