FORT DRUM, New York –
Fort Drum’s Soldier Recovery Unit welcomed its new commander and bid farewell to the outgoing senior leader during a change of command ceremony outside the SRU’s headquarters June 20, 2023.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Lisa M. Heiss
officially assumed command of the SRU from Lt. Col. Travis J. Nauman
“The organization treats you like a family, caring for not only the Soldiers in recovery, but also caring a great deal for one another,” said Nauman, a native of Mansfield, Pennsylvania. “That in itself made being the commander of the SRU a pleasure and a privilege.”
Heiss comes to the SRU from her previous assignment in Stuttgart, Germany, where she served as the National Guard’s State Partnership Program coordinator for U.S. European Command and then U.S. Africa Command.
“This assignment will be challenging but also rewarding as I watch Soldiers transition to their next phase in life,” said Heiss, a native of Wessington Springs, South Dakota. “I’m honored to be selected as the battalion commander of this unit. Over my past 25 years in the Army, I have never felt a greater sense of success and accomplishment than when mentoring Soldiers and officers through the paths of their career.”
As part of the traditional change of command, Nauman ceremonially passed the unit’s flag, or colors, to Col. Matthew J. Mapes, the commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Drum and the SRU’s higher headquarters, signifying the end of Nauman’s tenure as commander.
Mapes then passed the colors to Heiss, signifying his confidence in her capabilities as a leader and officially recognizing her as the new commander of the SRU. Ensuring the colors are always in someone’s hands throughout the passing of the colors signifies the unit and its Soldiers are never without leadership.
The SRU has the unique mission of caring for the Army’s wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers requiring complex care. They accomplish their mission by providing high-quality healthcare case management to promote an environment for healing and facilitate Soldiers’ timely return to their units or transition to civilian life.
“Those charged with caring for our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers truly have one of the most challenging jobs in the army,” Mapes said during the ceremony. “Day in and day out, I have been amazed with the care and support you provide our Soldiers in recovery.”
In the past two years under Nauman’s leadership, the SRU has cared for hundreds of medically complex Soldiers, successfully returning more than 150 back to the Army ready to continue their service, with more than 90 transitioning to veteran status as Soldiers for Life.
“His leadership of the SRU has directly impacted the readiness of the 10th Mountain Division by accepting wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers at a faster rate and with greater efficiency,” Mapes said of Nauman’s time in command. “(His) dedication and unwavering commitment to Soldiers and their welfare has made a tremendous impact to our community and will be missed.”
Nauman’s next assignment will bring him to Fort Eustis, Virginia, where he will serve as the chief of logistical operations for Joint Task Force Civil Support, a multi-service command responsible for supporting civil authorities during a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive incident in the United States and its territories.
For additional photos from the event, visit the Fort Drum MEDDAC Flickr page here: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAJCbv