The Western Regional Medical Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Marshall L. Huffman and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Tabitha A. Gavia as the commands senior enlisted adviser Nov. 18 at French Theater.
On the theater stage before a crowd of senior leadership, Soldiers, friends and family, Huffman relinquished his responsibility for the training and welfare of enlisted Soldiers in the command to Gavia by the passing of the WRMC colors.
The WRMC provides comprehensive health services to optimize force readiness and the health and well-being of the military, family members and retiree population. It oversees the delivery of care in the western United States, from Alaska, Washington to California, through three Military Treatment Facilities supporting about 184,000 active duty service members, retirees and their family members.
Major General Thomas R. Tempel Jr., WRMC commanding general, reminisced on his time with Huffman and praised him for his dedication.
Its no secret to anyone in the audience that behind every commander is a great command sergeant major or a great battle buddy, Tempel said. For the past 13 months, Command Sergeant Major Huffman has been my battle buddy, my adviser and my good friend. The counsel Ive received has always been right on target.
Huffman enlisted in the Army in January 1984 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and combat medic advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Since then, he has served in several leaderships roles over the course of his career.
I once heard a long time ago that when you do something you love, you never work a day in your life, and I can truly say that I have not worked a day in 32 years, Huffman said. I came in the Army to do three years, and Im finally about to complete my third year.
Gavia comes to the WRMC from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, where she served as the senior enlisted adviser at Brooke Army Medical Center. In her first address as the WRMCs command sergeant major, she thanked Huffman for his inspirational leadership.
You and I have come full circle, Gavia said. As my brigade command sergeant major, you taught a spanking-brand new sergeant major, with a bit of a temper, to recognize the importance of patience and temperance. Thank you for helping me to prepare for what I foresee as the greatest challenge of my career. I know I have very large shoes to fill, but I will give my all to continue your legacy.
Huffman, who arrived at WRMC in October 2013 after previously serving as the command sergeant major for Southern Regional Medical Command and Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio, will return to San Antonio for a few months and retire in February.