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6th MRBn conducts Change of Command Ceremony

By Andrew Lynch 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion

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Lt. Col. Matthew J. Mapes handed over command of the 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion to Lt. Col. Kenneth C. Lutz in a ceremony held Thursday at the Hampton Inn.

Col. Edward F. Mandril, Medical Recruiting Brigade commander presided over the ceremony which was attended by retired Brig. Gen. Francis P. Gonzales, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher S. Schroeder, Army Reserve Ambassador, as well as Soldiers and Army Civilians from the 6th MRBn.

“Today, the premier battalion in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command for Medical and Chaplain recruiting excellence is saying goodbye to their beloved commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Mapes and is welcoming a proven leader, Lt. Col. Kenneth Lutz,” said Mandril.

The change of command ceremony dates back to the 18th century during the time of Frederick the Great of Prussia. Flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to a particular unit. Soldiers often carried these flags into battle to identify their unit, and as a symbol of their loyalty and trust in the unit and the commander. When a change of command was to take place, the flag was passed to the individual assuming the command. This was accomplished in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming their dutiful position.

In keeping with this military and Army tradition, Mapes, the 6th MRBn outgoing commander, passed the unit colors to Mandril, the presiding officer, officially relinquishing command and responsibilities of the battalion. The colors were then passed to Lutz, who formally assumed command of the 6th MRBn.

In his departing remarks, Mapes spoke to the many achievements he and the organization had accomplished and his gratitude to the Centurion recruiters spread across the Western United States from El Paso, Texas to Alaska and Hawaii.

“You are where the rubber meets the road-your commitment and dedication has made a significant impact on the readiness of the United States Army,” said Mapes.

In his first remarks as the new commander, Lutz expressed his gratitude at being chosen to lead the 6th MRBn and thanks to his family and friends.

Lutz concluded, “The Army’s strength and willpower starts with Soldiers of sound mind and body, who are sustained by the health care professionals of the Army Medical Department and spiritual leadership of the Army Chaplain Corps. Your work is as important as ever. Recruit with integrity and together we will heed the nation’s call.”

The 6th MRBn is organized into a headquarters element located in Las Vegas, Nev., three Medical Recruiting Companies (MRC) located in Denver, Colo.; Seattle, Wash.; and Los Angeles, Calif., and a Chaplain Recruiting Station located in Encino, Calif. Each MRC is comprised of a Company Command Team and five to six Medical Recruiting Stations.

The unit is responsible for recruiting health care professionals and Chaplains in a 15-state area, which comprises the Western United States ranging from Western Texas, Colorado, and Montana to California and Washington. The recruiting region also includes Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific overseas region. The area encompasses approximately 2 million square miles and 1,119 hospitals, 14,696 residency programs, 110 universities, five Army Reserve Medical Commands, and 85 Army Reserve Medical Troop Program Units.

For individuals interested in any of more than 90 medical careers in the U.S. Army, visit http://healthcare.goarmy.com online.