Tuesday, October 23 2018
Activation Ceremony of US Army Medical Research Directorate - West
Wednesday, 7 October marked the activation ceremony of United States Army Medical Research Directorate West (USAMRD-W). USAMRD-W, nicknamed WRAIR Pacific, is a deployable research unit
designed to conduct applied behavioral health and resilience research throughout the Pacific region.
The unit was recently relocated from Sembach, Germany to Joint Base
Lewis-McChord, Washington in order to align itself with U.S. military focus on
the Pacific. In the relocation, the unit transitioned from the U.S. Army Medical
Research Unit-Europe (USAMRU-E) to the U.S. Army Medical Research
Directorate-West (USAMRD-W). As a research directorate of WRAIR, USAMRD-W will
continue conducting applied field studies with Soldiers in garrison, throughout
the deployment cycle, and in training settings. These studies help determine
prevalence rates of current issues faced by Soldiers, identify emerging
behavioral health threats to the force, and guide potential training and
Key leaders in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community were present for the
activation ceremony, as well as our Commanding General, of the US Army Medical
Research and Materiel Command, Major General Lein. Capt. Matthew LoPresti,
USAMRD-W Deputy Director, narrated the ceremony. Gifts were presented to Lt.
Col. Jeffery Thomas, former USAMRU-E Commander, by Sgt. James Lee of USAMRD-W,
and to Mr. Philip Throne , Lt. Col. Escolas’ husband, by Mr. Lance Rahey of
USAMRD-W. Following gifts, remarks were given by WRAIR Commander, Col. Renta,
and the USAMRD-W director, Lt. Col. Escolas.
Col. Renta spoke to the long history of the previous unit in Germany and
highlighted significant accomplishments from their 38 years of service to
behavioral health research. LTC Escolas introduced WRAIR Pacific’s mission, unit
symbol, and team members. After their remarks, WRAIR’s Command Sgt. Maj. Darryl
Warren and USAMRD-W’s noncommissioned officer in charge, Sgt. Tobin Thomas,
joined Col. Renta and Lt. Col. Escolas to cut the ribbon in front of the unit’s
symbol – a canoe paddle. The paddle signifies the agility of WRAIR Pacific to
respond to the needs of Soldiers, similar to how a paddle moves, pivots and
maneuvers a canoe.
Madigan Army Medical Center captured this great photo during the event. From
left to right, Command Sgt. Maj. Warren of WRAIR, Col. Renta, commander of
WRAIR, Lt. Col. Escolas, director of USAMRD-W, and Sgt. Tobin Thomas,
noncommissioned officer in charge of USAMRD-W, all smile for the camera as they
cut the ribbon.
We look forward to the continuation of WRAIR Pacific’s excellence in research
and development for the benefit of Soldier Health and World Health.
Last Modified Date: 09-September-2016