Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center said goodbye to one commander and welcomed its newest leader in a change of command ceremony on Sadowski Field, outside the III Corps Headquarters Friday.

Col. Richard Malish assumed command from Col. David Gibson, who led the hospital for the last two years. Gibson will be retiring after serving 33 years.

Gibson’s tenure as hospital commander began just a year after the new 947,000 square foot, state-of-the-art hospital began seeing patients. Gibson faced many challenges during his time as commander, but his focus and leadership skills contributed to CRDAMC’s numerous accomplishments.

In his opening remarks, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, commander of Regional Health Command Central, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, praised Gibson for setting the bar high and exceeding expectations over and over.

“Col. Gibson’s accomplishments come down to the ability to pinpoint a problem, work out the most effective and direct way to address it and then focus his people’s efforts and resources to accomplish the mission,” Johnson said. “His accomplishments are monumental and highlight his leadership skills, hard work and diligence. Gibson and his team at Darnall have elevated the level of care here to an unprecedented standard.”

Johnson highlighted the milestones CRDAMC achieved under Gibson’s leadership, to include sustaining medical readiness rates above 90 percent, increasing hospital productivity by $53 million and earning recognition as being number one in surgical quality and safety within the Department of Defense.

In his farewell speech, Gibson thanked his “team of teams” for their efforts in achieving the many successes over the last two years.

“I spent my time and energy defining and communicating desired results, coaching and empowering leaders at all levels, but they did all the heavy lifting. They delivered all the tremendous results,” he said.

Malish comes to CRDAMC from the Office of the Army Surgeon General, where he served as the deputy chief of staff for Quality and Safety.

He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology and has served in a variety of medical leadership assignments in garrison and in the operational theater throughout his career.

Malish said he is honored to take command of this “fabulous facility and its noble mission.” During his command, CRDAMC will continue to support the Fort Hood mission and its community, but the source of that support will change from the Army to the Defense Health Agency, he added.

“This change brings the opportunity for the creation of something new. We must assume well-considered risk and dare to achieve the incredible promise this historic change offers us. Let us create new laws and a new system of health with a capability deserved by our modern force,” he said.