Maj. Gen. Brian C. Lein became the 26th
commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort
Detrick in a change of command ceremony on the Blue and Gray field Sept. 16.
Lein comes to the USAMRMC from the Office of the Surgeon General, where he most recently served as the deputy surgeon general and deputy commanding general of operations.
“I’m very, very excited to come up to the Fort Detrick and Frederick community,” said Lein when asked his feelings regarding his transition from Washington to the greater Frederick area. “Fort Detrick is a wonderful community. You hear about it all the time from people who have been stationed here. When you’re down in D.C., where I came from, you’re one of tens of thousands of people... but up here, it’s a much friendlier atmosphere. It’s much more inclusive and it’s just beautiful here so, yes, we are very much looking forward to being a part of this community.”
Lein has moved to Fort Detrick alongside his wife, Terry, of 28 years. They are the proud parents of a daughter currently enlisted in the U.S. Navy, a son who just entered into his first year of law school at the University of Washington, and another son in his junior year at the University of South Carolina.
Despite growing up in New York, Lein originally hails from Bridgeport, Connecticut. The time he spent in the city during his youth later led to his enrollment at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
“I got recruited to go to West Point for track and field,” explained Lein. “I had always wanted to be a physician, even before I went to West Point - since I was about 10 years old - and, well, the two just kind of came together and I’ve been in the Army since I graduated from West Point in 1984.”
After graduating in 1984 as a Distinguished Military Cadet with a Bachelor of Science, and being commissioned a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps, Lein traveled to Philadelphia to attend Temple University School of Medicine. He graduated in 1988 as an Alpha Omega Alpha Scholar and an official medical doctor, completing his internship in general surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center shortly after in 1989. Lein is board certified in general surgery.
Lein’s military education includes graduation from the Army Medical Department Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army Airborne School.
Transitioning from the OTSG to the USAMRMC will be a change for the incoming commander, but Lein assures he is up to the challenge and excited for the opportunity before him.
“This (the USAMRMC) is a part of Army medicine that is, to be honest, very little understood by the vast majority of people within Army medicine,” said Lein, “and so part of the opportunity for me here is getting to tell the USAMRMC story.”
Lein plans to continue his predecessor Caravalho’s support to the Warfighter, ensuring Soldiers are resilient, ready, trained and survivable on the battlefield.
“What Maj. Gen. Caravalho has done has been phenomenal,” said Lein, “and I just hope to continue what he has done.”
Many past and present efforts of the USAMRMC have been spent adapting to the Soldier 2020 initiative, an initiative led by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, tasked with transitioning the Army into the future and shaping the Army of 2020. However, as the Army of 2020 takes shape, it is becoming increasingly clear that further looming budget and personnel cuts will mean the Army will have to prepare still to do more with even less.
“There’s going to be a lot more responsibility put on the USAMRMC to come up with the resources and capabilities to enable the Soldier to be more flexible, adaptable and survivable on the battlefield,” said Lein.
It seems that Lein will certainly have his hands full here at the USAMRMC, but the new commander maintains that the Fort Detrick and the greater Frederick community rests in good hands.
“Terry and I are humbled and honored to be here as part of this community, and we’re looking forward to continuing and strengthening the relationships both on base with all of the subordinate commands but also off base with all of the community support that we’ve had. We look forward to the challenges that we’re going to be facing with an Army that’s continuing to be at war, with a Nation that’s continuing to be at war, and our primary requirement is to support that Warfighter and I’m looking forward to accepting that challenge.”