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Time of Transitions

Team ISR,

COL (DR) Mark Stackle
COL Mark Stackle, MD

I hope everyone is having a safe and pleasant summer thus far. The last few months have been marked by a series of transitions. For one, the COVID infection rate has gone down across our country and local area, while vaccination rates have steadily increased providing broader protection from the virus than we have enjoyed in over a year. People have begun to resume many of their typical activities and resumed dormant social connections with family and friends. Mask wearing among fully vaccinated individuals has become optional in most circumstances. We must continue to remain vigilant, however, as additional COVID variants emerge and threaten to be more infectious and more deadly than prior strains. Because of the malleable nature of this coronavirus, I encourage everyone who has not yet received the vaccine to do so and to continue wearing masks as a method of protection until 14 days after your vaccination series is complete.

As a result of the significant improvements we have made on the COVID front, we are finally able to accelerate our return to working within the USAISR facilities and improve our ability to accomplish our combat casualty care research mission. We have remained cautious over the past several months to ensure that our transition back into the building has been done deliberately and safely. As a result, we have not any incidents of COVID transmission in the work place during that time. As always, however, we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and remain prepared to make any adjustments as conditions around us evolve.

Another major transition for the USAISR occurred on May 25 when we bade farewell to SGM Jennifer Francis and had the opportunity to thank her for her tremendous service to the organization during the Change of Responsibility Ceremony. We also welcomed our newest senior leader, SGM Larry White, as he took the reins as the new Senior Enlisted Advisor for the unit. SGM White has hit the ground running and his infectious enthusiasm and engaged leadership have already made a positive impact on all of us.

A final important leadership transition took place at the end of June when the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Commanding General, MG Michael Talley, relinquished command to BG Anthony "Tony" McQueen during a Change of Command ceremony June 22. SGM White and I had the privilege of attending the ceremony and look forward to working with BG McQueen. His command philosophy is one that should resonate with all of us: Live the Army Values and incorporate them into how you conduct yourself at all times. He also highlighted the importance of Team, Trust, and Transparency (T3) as goals we must all aspire to. BG McQueen has already begun planning for his first trip to visit the USAISR to see first-hand what tremendous people we have working here.

This summer has been marked by a series of important transitions, including the arrival and departure of many of our teammates. As people depart this summer, please take the time to thank them for all they have contributed here. And, as you meet the newest members of the team, please make sure to welcome them warmly to the ISR family.

I'll conclude by expressing my deepest admiration for all of you as you have weathered one of the most challenging periods in our history and have continued to accomplish our important mission while taking great care of each other. It is an honor to work alongside you and I look forward to another great year going forward.

Col. Mark Stackle, MD
USAISR Commander

"Forge the Future"