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Col. Bernard L. DeKoning assumed command of the 30th Medical Brigade from Col. Gail E. Ford during a change-of-command ceremony Aug. 7 at Nachrichten Kaserne in Heidelberg, Germany.

Before taking command, DeKoning was assistant surgeon general for force projection at the Pentagon, according to his biography. He holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from the University of Illinois in Chicago and a doctorate of medicine from Rush Medical College in Chicago.

During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. David A. Rubenstein, Europe Regional Medical commander, spoke about the legacy of the 30th Medical Brigade.

“All are very familiar with the immediate past glory of the brigade. Its successes in support of warriors during Operation Iraqi Freedom are the things of legend ... Col. Gail Ford was vital to those successes,” Rubenstein was quoted as saying in an Army news release.

“Col. Ben DeKoning is no stranger to Germany or to the rigors of command; he is well suited to command the 30th and its wonderful soldiers.”

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