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Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor Conducts Change of Command

02 July 2024

From Christopher Perrine

Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor held a change of command ceremony at Joint
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor held a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 28.

Capt. Salee Oboza relieved Capt. Victor Diaz, who had served as the commanding officer of NMRTC Pearl Harbor as well as Naval Health Clinic Hawaii since June 2022. His next assignment will be deputy commander of Naval Medical Forces Pacific.

A native of New York, N.Y., Diaz was also presented with the Legion of Merit by Rear Adm. Guido Valdes, commander of NMFP. Valdes is also director of Defense Health Network Pacific Rim and Chief of the Navy Medical Corps.

Valdes has known Diaz for 17 years and said, “He focused on the readiness and health of our warfighters and their families, expertly leading his team in delivering world-class care to more than 49,000 eligible beneficiaries and supporting 156 operational and tenant commands.”

“His instrumental role in establishing the Defense Health Agency’s Red Hill Clinic and balancing the readiness mission of NMRTC Pearl Harbor with patient care delivery exemplifies his visionary leadership and strategic foresight,” Valdes added. “Victor, you and your family should be proud of all that you accomplished—well done.”

According to the award citation, Diaz increased fleet readiness from 68 to 93 percent and decreased access to care wait times from 30 days to less than two days. He also ensured the on-time implementation of the new electronic health record and the successful transfer of 145 civil service staff members from the Department of the Navy to the Defense Health Agency. Under his leadership, his clinics received high marks from a Medical Inspector General inspection, two consecutive Navy Medicine Radiation Health Program audits, and two exemplary College of American Pathologists laboratory accreditations.

Diaz thanked his family, the Sailors under his command, and the many organizations that he worked with.

“My success as CO and (military treatment facility director) was due to our unity of effort,” said Diaz. “I didn’t get here by myself,” he added, as he thanked those who mentored and counseled him along the way.

Diaz expressed his gratitude to the members of NMRTC Pearl Harbor as well. “Words will never convey my appreciation for all of you,” said Diaz. “It’s been an absolute honor.”

As he handed over the command to Oboza, Diaz told her, “They are ready, and they are resilient.”

Before her selection to command, Oboza served as the executive officer at NMRTC Great Lakes at the Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago, overseeing the delivery of health care for more than 75,000 TRICARE and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries, including 40,000 Navy recruits from Recruit Training Command.

“Her accomplishments there displayed energetic drive, problem solving acumen and a passion for providing exceptional care,” said Valdes. “I am excited to have you as part of the Naval Medical Forces Pacific and Defense Health Network Indo-Pacific teams.”

Embracing the challenge of command, Oboza told those assembled that medical readiness is critical to national security. “The next battle will be on the backs of our Sailors,” said Oboza. She also said it is critical to maintain a ready force so our adversaries will think twice before challenging the U.S.

Oboza also thanked her family for their support, including her husband, Rob, and their six children. Born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in Rockford, Ill., she acknowledged her parents and said, “Thank you for the immigrant work ethic that contributes to who I am today.”

Story originally posted on DVIDS: Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor Conducts Change of Command 

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