Story by Maria Christina Yager on 07/09/2019FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Fort Campbell welcomed a new command sergeant major July 9.
Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Earle passed responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Santiago during a change of responsibility ceremony in front of the hospital. The MEDDAC Fort Campbell includes the medical missions on Fort Campbell, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Col. Patrick T. Birchfield, BACH and MEDDAC Fort Campbell commander, recognized Earle's accomplishments during his remarks before welcoming Santiago and his family to the BACH team.
"Although we have only had a few short days to work together as battle buddies, I'm able to grasp how [Command Sgt. Maj. Earle] has such an incredible reputation across Army Medicine. Your leadership skills have led to BACH earning Regional Health Command-Atlantic Best Medic of the year, MEDCOM Equal Opportunity Leader of the Year, 10 non-commissioned officers being inducted into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, BACH being voted the most liked hospital in the Clarksville-area for two consecutive years, numerous civilian of the year awards and the Greenpeace Award, to name a few. Thank you for your mentorship and guidance to our team," said Birchfield, who assumed command of the MEDDAC in late June.
During his tenure as the senior enlisted non-commissioned officer of the unit, Earle led and implemented training, professional development and Soldier readiness programs for nearly 500 Soldiers. Under his leadership, his Soldiers went from 30 to 90 percent compliance in Department of the Army-level training.
With readiness in mind, he increased Soldier physical fitness time to keep a physically ready force. He focused efforts to develop Soldiers and more than 40 Soldiers were inducted into the NCO ranks during his tour. As a leader, Earle always pushed his Soldiers to strive for excellence.
"The accomplishments we have made over the past 24 months have been vast...I'd like to thank all the Soldiers and civilians of this organization. You are too numerous to name but each of you play an integral role in the success of this organization," said Earle, adding that Santiago is inheriting one of the best teams in Army Medicine. Earle's next assignment will be at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Command Sgt. Maj. Santiago comes to BACH from Weed Army Community Hospital, Fort Irwin, California, where he served as command sergeant major.
During his comments, Santiago said his goal is to continue the great reputation of BACH.
"I am eager to work with you, with two goals in mind; to continue to provide the best and safest medical care to all Fort Campbell Soldiers, families and beneficiaries, while ensuring a medically ready force; and two, to continue to build a climate of trust, inclusion and teamwork within our BACH family," said Santiago.
Santiago's previous duty stations include Fort Hood, Texas; Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Maryland; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Landstuhl, Germany; and Fort Detrick, Maryland. He first joined the Army in 1995 and served as a medic. He later reclassified as a medical laboratory specialist and earned his master's degree in occupational health and safety/environmental management.