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    Change of Command: Triple Hatted Medical Commander at Guantanamo Bay

    Change of Command: Triple Hatted Medical Commander at Guantanamo Bay

    Photo By Dawn Grimes | Mrs. Bonnie Zeber pins a gold metal, three-pronged, trident on the uniform of her...... read more read more



    Story by Dawn Grimes 

    Navy Medicine and Readiness Training Command Guantanamo Bay

    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – US Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay, US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay (USNH GB) and Joint Medical Group (Joint Task Force - Guantanamo), held a change of command ceremony May 12, 2022. Capt. Dale D. Ramirez, Nurse Corps, USN, relinquished command to Capt. Rick Zeber, Medical Service Corps, USN.

    Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Surgeon General, U.S. Navy, presided over the ceremony and noted the significant responsibilities, as exemplified by Capt. Ramirez, required of medical tenant command leaders at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay,

    “Since June 2020, Capt. Dale Ramirez has served at the helm of three commands and has led his team to maximize warfighter performance through optimized medical readiness; sustain expeditionary medical capability and train and develop Navy Medical Forces;” Rear Adm. Gillingham remarked.

    “Through these vital actions, he has helped ensure that this forward-deployed, medical facility is able to support the Fleet Activities, Joint Operational Forces and multi-national operations in the SOUTHCOM Area of Operations.”

    During his tenure, Capt. Ramirez oversaw the transition of the management of the US Naval Hospital to the Defense Health Agency (DHA). The military-wide transition, intended to standardize all aspects of health care and ensure consistency throughout the U.S. military, got underway in 2018. On October 1, 2021, Capt. Ramirez became the first Director of Military Treatment Facility, Guantanamo, within DHA’s Small Market and Stand-Alone Organizations.

    Capt. Rick Zeber arrives from NMRTC Oak Harbor, where he served as Executive Officer. Additional prior duties include serving as special staff for Medical Logistics, DHA; Executive Officer Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity, Yorktown, Virginia where he served as the Navy Surgeon General’s designated representative Defense Department optical fabrication program execution and production of more than three million prescription eyewear. Earlier in his career, Zeber served Naval Aviation personnel and beneficiaries at Naval Hospital Lemoore and Naval Branch Medical Clinic Key West. Capt. Zeber earned designation as an aeromedical officer, was the first ‘’aerospace optometrist" at Branch Health Clinic Oceana. Capt. Zeber holds licenses to practice optometry in Ohio and California.

    As he assumed command, Capt. Zeber commended Capt. Ramirez for his leadership and legacy of inspiring excellence. “What a tremendous reset that can be in a critical moment,” Capt. Zeber remarked. “To pause and reflect, on how are we inspiring excellence in this moment, in this task, for our people and for our patients, and we’ll find a way.”

    Capt. Zeber explained that he prepared his remarks during pack-out and wrote out his thoughts on the only paper he could find – a thank-you card. As he identified his leadership objectives, Capt. Zeber concluded holding up a separate blank card. “I brought this blank thank you note with me for us, so that we, you and I, can write this story together.”

    Following the change of command, a retirement ceremony was held as Capt. Ramirez departs the U.S. Navy having served honorably and with distinction for 30 years.

    “Capt. Ramirez has truly represented the best in executive medicine, and our One Navy Medicine Team, and he exemplifies the very meaning of ‘Servant Leadership.’ Rear Adm. Gillingham said. “As we celebrate the Anniversary of our Nurse Corps this month, we should also mention Capt. Ramirez is a nurse who first began his career working the medical surgery and pediatric wards. He has also represented the very best in Navy nursing.”

    Capt. Ramirez was awarded the Merit of Legion (fourth award) for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of services and achievements while fulfilling his final tour highlights of which were outlined and read aloud from the citation.

    “Capt. Ramirez’s unrelenting commitment to ‘Inspire Excellence’ assured mission success and was essential to the sustainment of operations of the one of the Navy’s most geographically isolated and politically sensitive forward-deployed installations. Responsible for leading the installation’s COVID-19 health services support response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic he guided implementation of Public Health initiatives that identifying and contained COVID-19 cases and prevented community spread and deliver more than 9000 vaccines resulting in a 90% vaccination rate across the installation, safeguarding 17 tenant commands and the health and wellness of 55 hundred base residents.”

    The Legion of Merit is the seventh in order of precedence of all U.S. Military Awards.

    US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay provides healthcare to naval installation and local beneficiaries including U.S. and foreign national contractors, government civilian employees, military personnel, and their families. USNH GB operates the military’s only overseas long-term residential care facility providing care to Special Category Residents granted asylum from Cuba by the U.S. Department in the 1960s.



    Date Taken: 05.13.2022
    Date Posted: 05.13.2022 13:26
    Story ID: 420681
    Hometown: ROCKY RIVER, OH, US

    Web Views: 873
    Downloads: 1