Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Burnett | Col. Koji D. Nishimura, the outgoing commander of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 30th Medical Brigade, salutes his Soldiers one last time during a change of command ceremony on Sembach Kaserne May 21.
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SEMBACH, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany - Col. Koji D. Nishimura relinquished command of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 30th Medical Brigade to Col. Scott Dingle during a change of command ceremony here at Sembach Parade Field May 21.
The change of command ceremony proceeded in accordance with U.S. Army tradition and heritage through the passing of the unit colors. Command Sgt. Maj. George W. Grace, Jr., the 30th Med. Bde. command sergeant major, passed the colors to Nishimura to symbolize his last act of allegiance to the outgoing commander. Nishimura passed the colors to Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, the 21st TSC commanding general, to symbolize his relinquishment of command to the higher command. O’Connor then passed the colors to Dingle, symbolizing the entrustment of command to the incoming commander.
The passing of colors concluded when Dingle passed the colors back to Grace, symbolizing that the organization’s colors stay with the Soldiers. Each of the leaders then received the opportunity to address the formation.
“Today we pay tribute to the extraordinary leadership and the many accomplishments of Col. Koji Nishimura,” O’Connor said. “His strategic vision and remarkable organizational skills, coupled with a genuine gift for innovative thought and action, have proven instrumental throughout his command tour.”
Nishimura took command of the 30th Medical Command in April 2012. During his tenure, he led the Med. Com. through a road-to-war and successful deployment to Afghanistan. He also saw the transition of the command from Heidelberg to Sembach, Germany, and their re-flagging from a command to a brigade.
“This change of command is, of course, a bittersweet moment for me as a commander,” Nishimura said. “Being this brigade’s commander made them my family. While I hate to leave them, I know they will go on to do amazing things.”
Dingle comes to the 30th Med. Bde. from the Office of the Surgeon General and Medical Command where he was the director of operations. He discussed his feelings on taking brigade command after the ceremony.
“This is very exciting; the 30th Med. Bde. and its Soldiers are an outstanding organization with a long and important history,” Dingle said. “I am honored and humbled to be their commander.”
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