USACEHR Welcomes New Commander
The U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research (USACEHR) welcomed new leadership on June 5.
In a ceremony at Fort Detrick's Army Community Center, Lt. Col. Darryl M. Metcalf assumed command of USACEHR from Lt. Col. Raymond Vazquez. Vazquez, who led USACEHR since 2016, moves on to serve as director of the Chemical and Biological Defense Program Defense Medical Research Coordinating Office of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).
Col. Margery Hanfelt, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, presided over the change of command, as the center is a subordinate element of the USAMRICD. Additionally, Soldiers from the USAMRICD served as the ceremonial color guard, and the Institute's senior enlisted leader, Sgt. 1st Class Joel Santana, participated in the ceremony's passing of the colors.
Hanfelt described USACEHR as a unique research organization with an impressive level of accomplishment given its small staff–approximately 60 staff members, including military, civilians, contractors and students.
"You can be proud of the work your team did and proud of the way you led them," said Hanfelt to Vazquez.
She also acknowledged Vazquez's "dedication to growing his personnel," encouraging opportunities for them to advance their knowledge and skills.
Turning to Metcalf's career, Hanfelt noted that his "background will enhance USACEHR's mission" and that his "leadership, dedication, purpose and desire to make a difference" will serve him well as he works together with his USACEHR team.
Vazquez called his tour as commander "a lot of fun," and described the center as "made up of great scientists, outstanding administrative and exceptional support personnel."
"It's been my honor and privilege to serve as USACEHR commander for the last two years," said Vazquez. "I am in awe of everything that team USACEHR accomplishes on a daily basis."
Vazquez wished Metcalf the best. "You will be surrounded by an outstanding staff that will make your job easy and most of all rewarding."
Taking the podium, Metcalf expressed "gratitude and admiration of the soldiers and civilians of USACEHR."
"Thank you for your hard work and dedicated commitment to this critically important mission," continued Metcalf. "You contribute daily to the strength of military medicine, and I could not be more proud to serve alongside you."
Metcalf is a graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Command at the University of Missouri. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.
Prior to his selection as the commander of USACEHR, Metcalf was the chief of managed care for Regional Health Command Europe. Previously, he served as a research fellow with the RAND Corporation. While at RAND, he conducted research on global health engagements for the Office of the Army Surgeon General, medical equipping optimization for the USAMRMC, medical support for light footprint operations for the European Union, and operational medicine in the Pacific Theater for the United States Air Force.
His formative assignments include director, Patient Administration at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, executive officer of the Performance Triad Task Force at the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG), Falls Church, Virginia; combat developer, Directorate of Combat and Doctrine Development, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; chief, Clinical Operations, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany; chief of operations, 212th Combat Support Hospital, Miesau, Germany; chief of Patient Administration, Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Clinic, Fort Meade, Maryland; company commander, USA MEDDAC, Wurzburg, Germany; and medical regulating officer, 67th Combat Support Hospital, Wurzburg Germany. His combat and operational assignments have included Operation New Dawn as the theater medical regulating officer with TF 47 MED, Operation Iraqi Freedom as the chief, Patient Administration, 28th Combat Support Hospital, and Operation Joint Guard (KFOR) as the medical platoon leader with 2/502nd Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.
Metcalf enlisted in the Army in 1995 as an armor crewman and spent time in various units in the Republic of Korea and Fort Knox, Kentucky, before being selected for a Green to Gold Scholarship. He received his commission from the University of Missouri, where he was the Distinguished Military Graduate and earned a bachelor's degree in communications theory. Later, he attended the University of Oklahoma where he earned a master's degree in international relations. Metcalf is a graduate of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Officer Basic Course, AMEDD Officer Advanced Course, and the Command and General Staff College.
His awards, decorations and honors include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (7 OLC), Army Achievement Medal, The National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award) Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (with two Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal and the NATO Kosovo Medal. He has earned the Expert Field Medical Badge and Air Assault Badge.