"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"

Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland, right, presents the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research flag to USAISR’s new commander, Col. (Dr.) Jerome L. Buller during a change of command ceremony July 19 at Fort Sam Houston, as outgoing commander, Col. (Dr.) Shawn C. Nessen looks on. Photo by Dr. Steven Galvan, USAISR Public Affairs Officer.

Buller Takes Command of USAISR

Story and photo by Dr. Steven Galvan
USAISR Public Affairs Officer

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
13 AUGUST 2018

In a time honored Army ritual, Col. (Dr.) Shawn C. Nessen relinquished command of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research to Col. (Dr.) Jerome L. Buller, during a change of command ceremony July 19 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Buller took command of the ISR when he received the ISR flag from his new commanding general and ceremonial host, Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb, Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, Maryland.

During her remarks, Holcomb commended Nessen’s family for their support, which permitted his success by allowing his staff to flourish in combat casualty care research.

“He subscribes to the philosophy of sharing knowledge and information and not keeping it for himself, but passing it on, so others can succeed,” said Holcomb. “He believes in allowing the experts to solve problems. That coupled with his care for both Soldiers and civilians he works alongside are some of the reasons why he is a successful leader.”

“Major General Holcomb, thank you for your tireless advocacy for this Institute and for your continued surgical research as part of the Army mission,” said Nessen during his remarks, who is also the trauma consultant to the Army Surgeon General. “Thank you for your leadership and mentorship, and for helping when I needed help, and for trusting me with command of the ISR.”

Nessen is transferring to Brooke Army Medical Center, collocated with the ISR, where he will serve as a trauma surgeon.

“Col. Buller, the ISR will be magnificent under your command,” added Nessen. “Your leadership and surgical experience, and the wisdom you bring to the job will be appreciated by all, and with this great team, you will lead this fine Institute to new levels of accomplishment.”

“Col. Nessen, your work here has been nothing short of spectacular,” Buller said after taking command of the ISR. “Through your leadership, the team has accomplished much to keep the ISR at the forefront of trauma and burn research on a world-wide stage. Your passion for taking care of our Warfighters and your drive to ensure our combat wounded have the best chance to survive, is palpable and it is admirable. I share your passion and will work hard to carry on the great work you started here at the ISR.”

Buller comes from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland where he was as the USU Brigade Commander.

“To the ISR team, your reputation is astonishing and your research is world-renowned,” continued Buller. “Your work has saved thousands of lives on the battlefield and it has carried over to the civilian sector where it continues to save lives every day across the world.”

Holcomb ended her remarks by welcoming Buller and his family to the ISR and San Antonio.

“Your most recent position as the Brigade Commander at the Uniformed Service University was a great prep for the ISR,” she said. “Your capacity for understanding complex challenges and initiating practical and inclusive approaches to overcome them will be useful here.

“I know firsthand about how well you understand the strategic communication and the importance of telling your story and getting the word out—a skill that will continue to recognize the ISR as the face for burn and trauma care.”