JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The Office of the Command Surgeon team of U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston received the quarterly Army Medicine Wolf Pack Award at the historic Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle Oct. 5, 2022.
The Wolf Pack Award recognizes exceptional teamwork by an integrated group of military and civilian team members who focus on excellence and superior outcomes in support of Army medicine.
“As the newly appointed chief, this is my first Wolf Pack Award to present,” said Chris Rheney, the chief of Army Medical Department Civilian Corps. “The impact [U.S. Army North’s Office of the Command Surgeon team] had for not just national interests, but for the Afghan guests that sought refuge in the U.S.”
The OSCURG team is an integrated team of multi component military and civilian members. During phase two of Operations Allies Welcome, the OCSURG staff planned, implemented, and set conditions for mission success to deliver contracted comprehensive health care to over 3,200 Afghan guests in the National Convention Center, Leesburg, Virginia.
The OAW Phase II’s national-level accomplishment is built upon the foundation of exceptional health care provided during Phase I of OAR/OAW in which, the team operationally directed support of more than 73,000 Afghan guests receiving, often-times, their first medical examination and public health immunization series. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formulary administered nearly 500,000 vaccines.
While managing simultaneous large-scale health service support operations during this period, the U.S. Army North OCSURG staff continued its nearly two-year mission to oversee federal COVID-19 response across the United States and its U.S. territories.
The OCSURG staff vertically and horizontally synchronized across interagency and joint services to find innovative ways to tailor department of defense hospital augmentation teams to meet the needs of the American people and private sector hospital systems facing strains of COVID-19. This was crucial as the team balanced presidential domestic priorities against global conflict/tension requirements in an operational environment with scarce resources. This oversight resulted in the culmination of a successful no-fail and protracted mission to save the lives of thousands of Americans in more than 63 civilian hospitals across the nation.
The extreme dedication to duty of the OCSURG staff, in its Defense Support to Civil Authorities role, developed the HSS plan in support of interagency all-hazards response. This prepared the command for sudden DSCA responses, to include the medical action plan for the 2022 hurricane season and the upcoming wildland firefighting season with National Interagency Fire Center.
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General, praised the OCSURG team’s exceptional effort, teamwork and dedication that epitomize the highest standards of the Army and Army Medicine.
“You have my rock stars on your staff,” Dingle noted to Col. Phillip Gage, the Chief of Staff for U.S. Army North. He continued to comment on the simultaneity of operations that included COVID-19 response, OAR/OAW and the Southwest Border mission.
Col. Raymond Jablonka, the command surgeon for U.S. Army North, accepted the award, thanking the entire OCSURG team for their exceptional service to U.S. Army North, Army Medicine, and the nation.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve with this OCSURG team, both military-civilian and multi-compo – all of whom we needed to make our diverse and unprecedented medical operations a success,” Jablonka said. “I appreciate most that this team possessed the requisite agility and innovation to win the fight against COVID-19 and serve 73,000 Afghan refugees in their time of need. Thank you.”