FORT HOOD, Texas — The 9th Hospital Center is scheduled to hold a change of command ceremony at 10 a.m. December 10 on Sadowski Field.

Col. Dave Hamilton will relinquish command to Col. Nate Forrester. Forrester, who previously served here as the 1st Medical Brigade executive officer, comes to the Longhorn Team from the Office of the Surgeon General.

Hamilton, who originally entered the Army in 1987 as a private first class, took command of the 1st Medical Brigade in December 2019 just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching the states.

The unit had been preparing for a deployment to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq when they dove feet first into helping combat COVID. In March of 2020, with no-notice, he pivoted his formation from a wartime posture to COVID response, deploying his entire unit within 7-days to New York. This unprecedented mission resulted in the establishment of largest alternate care facility hospital in the DoD, providing medical treatment of 1,095 civilian COVID patients, and critical support to a beleaguered health system.

He still prepared his unit for deployment to Iraq, leaving in February 2021 for a 9-month rotation. Before returning last month, Hamilton served as he served as Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and Task Force Medical Commander and Combined Joint Task Force Surgeon in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Kuwait. He led 8 subordinate units, including Navy and Air Force units, and was responsible for 200 service members who performed a wide array of general medical and even surgical procedures.

“The Soldiers of the 9th HC Longhorns have been in the field or deployed, applying the medical power of the nation since I arrived,” said Hamilton. “I am incredibly thankful for the sacrifice and patience of the Families of the 9th Hospital Center over the las 2 years of COVID-19 response and travel restrictions, deployments at short notice and to far-away lands, as well as cities in the US. It has not been easy, but we have worked together to succeed.”

“Over the last 2 years, the 9th Hospital Center projected vital medical power of the 1st Medical Brigade and Army Medicine across the globe – establishing a historic, one of a kind COVID treatment hospital at the Javits New York Medical Center in downtown New York City as part of the whole of nation Response to COVID-19, deploying units to provide medical and veterinary care to Africa, Kosovo, the Pacific Region and most recently to Iraq, leading Task Force Med 9 to provide medical support to Operation Inherent Resolve forces in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait,” Hamilton continued. “The Longhorns continue to live up to their motto – Go Get ‘Em!”

Media wishing to attend this event should RSVP with Cpt. Tyson Friar by email at tyson.l.friar.mil@army.mil, or phone at (580) 284-3185 by 4 p.m. December 9.

Media attending will meet in the south side parking lot of the Fort Hood visitors center on T.J. Mills Blvd. no later than 9:30 a.m. on the morning of December 10.

The 9th Hospital Center deployed the first wave of medical Soldiers Mar.25, 2020 from Fort Hood, Texas heading to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where they will begin augmenting the medical professionals in the New York City area in the fight against COVID-19. These units plan and train year-round and remain ready to provide defense support of civil authorities to help protect the American people during man-made and natural disasters. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Tyson Friar, 13th ESC Public Affairs
Col Roger S. Giraud (center), commander of the 1st Medical Brigade, greeted Col. Dave Hamilton (right), the 9th Hospital Center commander, following the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade’s redeployment to Fort Hood following a 9 month deployment to Iraq, where they served as Task Force Med at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, on Nov. 8, 2021. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Tyson Friar, 13th ESC Public Affairs