JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, UNITED STATES
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - When Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew T. Brady joined the active Army as a combat medic in 1987, he had no idea he would eventually become the senior enlisted service member at a hospital responsible for delivering care to more than 120,000 people.
A change of responsibility ceremony at Soldiers Field House Feb. 26 marked the end of Brady’s tour at Madigan Army Medical Center and a beginning for his replacement, Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Rhoades.
“Those of us who’ve chosen this military lifestyle, either by duty or association, accept transition as an integral part of it. And even sometimes when we don’t always like it, every couple of years, leaders are going to change,” said Col. Ramona Fiorey, the Madigan commander.
“By design and some serendipity, he has been the right sergeant major at the right time for this hospital,” Fiorey added.
Brady faced a number of challenges that required political savvy, which Fiorey said he handled admirably.
“His brother is a member of Congress, but I wonder if Congress got the right brother,” Fiorey said.
The government shutdown in 2013 and subsequent furlough of some civilian employees at Madigan was one such instance that demanded a politically-aware leader.
“My military stepped up and carried some extra load for some of the civilians that had to have part of their time cut during the furloughs. Again, it showed the character of our organization,” Brady said.
During his speech, Brady emphasized that Madigan was in a transitional phase, much like the rest of the Army. New programs like the Performance Triad mark a shift to a more holistic approach to well-being that promotes a healthy lifestyle among beneficiaries instead of reacting to symptoms as they arise.
Brady described the transition as “moving from a health care system to a system for health.”
He added that only a strong team of soldiers and civilians working toward a common goal could achieve a fundamental change in approach to delivering care.
“Personally, I can’t say enough about Madigan. People who know me know that I am very compassionate about who we are and what we do, the mission that we have. The soldiers in front of you share my compassion. If you’re a neurosurgeon or cleaning up the OR, you are part of team Madigan,” Brady said.
Brady is moving on to Fort Belvoir, Va., to serve as the command sergeant major for Warrior Transition Command.
“I tell people all the time, sometime you don’t get to pick what your destiny is and what your future looks like. Sometimes you have to let it just happen. To say that I am lucky, is an understatement,” Brady said.
Rhoades’s last assignment was to the Republic of Korea where he served as the command sergeant major for 121st Combat Support Hospital and Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital.
The incoming command sergeant major reminded attendees that the soldiers and civilians working at Madigan still have an important job amidst personnel changes in an evolving environment.
“These are interesting times we live in, constrained resources, downsizing the force, the new MEDCOM business model, and of course, do more with less. But regardless of these circumstances, our no-fail mission is taking care of people. That’s what we do,” said Rhoades.
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This work, CSM change at Madigan, by SSG Christopher Klutts, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.