Col. (Dr.) Shawn Nessen, left, takes the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research flag July 19 from Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland. Lein hosted a dual change of command/change of responsibility ceremony where Nessen took command of the USAISR.
Story and photo by Steven Galvan, DBA
USAISR Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
06 AUG 2016
In a dual ceremony held by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Col. (Dr.) Shawn S. Nessen assumed command of the USAISR and 1st Sgt. Natasha M. Santiago assumed her new role as the acting sergeant major. The change of command and change of responsibility ceremony held July 19 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, also honored the services of the outgoing commander, Col. (Dr.) Michael D. Wirt and Sgt. Maj. James L. Devine.
Maj. Gen. Brian C. Lein, commander of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland, hosted the ceremony and during his remarks he praised Wirt and Devine and attributed the success of the Institute “to their superb guidance and leadership.”
“The ISR is continuously conducting innovative and necessary life-saving research, and it’s due to your sound and selfless leadership,” Lein said. “It has been a pleasure working with the both of you and I thank you both for that you have accomplished.
“Col. Nessen, congratulations on your new assignment and welcome to MRMC and ISR team,” added Lein. “Your previous assignments have prepared you for this tour as you continue the critical work in combat casualty care.”
Nessen takes command of the USAISR after a tour at the Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he served as the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services. Nessen was also the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services of the 212th Combat Support Hospital, Miseau, Germany. Prior to that tour, he was a staff critical care surgeon and Chief of the Department of Surgery at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center at Landstuhl, Germany.
During his remarks, Nessen thanked Lein for the opportunity to command the “Institute that has been at the forefront of optimizing combat casualty care and finding solutions for our wounded warriors who bravely put their lives in harm’s way to ensure our freedom.”
“Col. Wirt, you have done a tremendous job as commander of the ISR, and I know that I have my job cut out for me to continue your superb leadership and to keeping this Institute operating impressively,” continued Nessen “I will strive to meet the challenge, and I wish you much success at your next assignment in Korea.”
Wirt, who served as the USAISR commander since July 2014, is transferring to Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, where he will serve as the Eighth Army surgeon, and Devine is retiring from the Army after 30 years of service.