Col. (Dr.) Michael Weber, Commander, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, left, presents Cpt. Lashawnna Ray the USAISR Company guidon during a change of command ceremony June 28. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
11 JULY 2013
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Company welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony June 28. Capt. Lashawnna N. Ray assumed command from Capt. Natalie D. Collins who is reporting to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas to study for a Doctor of Philosophy in Virology.
Col. Michael A. Weber, Commander USAISR served as the reviewing officer for the ceremony. “This is a beautiful day for a change of command between two of the finest Medical Corps Service officers in the Army,” Weber said. “Captain Collins created an outstanding legacy as the company commander. She’s a consummate Soldier, scholar and athlete. As the company commander she aggressively sought ways to improve the value of the Institute and optimized the careers of both military and civilians members.”
During her remarks, Collins thanked the USAISR leadership and the Company Soldiers for allowing her the opportunity to lead the company. “I was lucky to have several people reassure me and remind me that command is both a blessing and a burden,” said Collins. “You must lead with standards in mind, but compassion in heart. You have to ask yourself what is the benefit for the military and for the Soldier.
“There is no other unit like the ISR. Not because of the way we are structured, but because of the bright and professional Soldiers we have. There are no other Soldiers like the ISR Soldiers.”
Ray reports from the San Antonio Military Medical Center where she served as the chief of the Patient Administration Division. She thanked the Institute Commander and Company Soldiers for the opportunity to lead the Company. “As your Commander I look forward to working with all of you,” she said. “First Sergeant Proud, the company’s discipline and outstanding dedication to the mission is a direct reflection of your leadership and superior standards.”
A graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology, Ray earned her commission through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps in 2008. Her military experience includes serving as the Treatment Platoon Leader of Charlie Company, 782nd Brigade Support Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.; Executive Officer of Charlie Company while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and later became the Executive Officer of the 248th Medical Detachment- 44th Medical Brigade, XVII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg.
“Captain Collins, you have lit a torch for other commanders to follow and I promise to carry on your dedication to continue to build this unit to be the one of the best organizations within the Army,” said Ray. “One of my mottos has always been simply,
‘Be the change.’ Team, let’s continue to do great work.”