Brig. Gen. Norvell V. Coots on Thursday replaced Col. John P. Collins as commander of Europe Regional Medical Command, the Army’s top medical post in Europe.
Coots comes to the job after serving as deputy commanding general (support) for the U.S. Army Medical Command and assistant surgeon general for force projection in the Army’s Office of the Surgeon General in Falls Church, Virginia.
Coots’ arrival puts a one-star general back in command of ERMC, fulfilling a commitment the Army’s surgeon general voiced last year when Collins assumed the position of “interim” commander in the midst of a reorganization of top positions in military medicine. Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, the Army surgeon general, said at the time that she was committed to having a general atop ERMC.
Collins’ tenure was expected to run from three to six months while the reorganization shook out, but instead lasted the better part of a year. Collins’ predecessor, Jeffrey B. Clark, was also a colonel for nearly his entire tenure as commander of ERMC.
Collins, a 30-year Army veteran, will retire this summer, according to the command.
Some of Coots’ more recent military assignments include surgeon general of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan from May 2012 to March 2013 and commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System from July 2008 to August 2011.
ERMC oversees a health care system that includes numerous clinics, war zone medical logistics, humanitarian assistance and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the military’s only overseas trauma center. With more than 5,500 joint service personnel under its umbrella, it supports three major commands — Europe, Central and Africa Commands — as well as U.S. Army Europe and medical units in Afghanistan.