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USNH Guam Hosts Change of Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100617-15

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Peter Lewis, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam hosted a change of command ceremony at the command's auditorium June 11.

Capt. Kevin Haws relieved Capt. David Miller as commanding officer.

The ceremony's presiding officer, Rear Adm. Donald Gintzig, deputy commander of Navy Medicine West, praised Miller and Haws, and said that the incoming commanding officer was well-prepared to take the reigns of the naval hospital.

"[They're] big shoes to fill," he said. "But I have no doubt in my mind that you will take the history of excellence of this command and help bring it to even greater heights."

Gintzig then presented Miller with the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

After receiving the medal, Miller credited his award to the excellent staff of USNH Guam.

"The special recognition that I've received today is truly not mine alone. It belongs to every staff member of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam who has worked to serve our patients and their families," he said. "I wear this medal today for all my staff, and I assure you when I reflect on my time in command, I will always think of what this fine Navy medicine team accomplished together."

Miller then thanked his staff for their dedication to the nation and the sacrifices they have made.

"I must say thank you to my terrific staff for the patriotism I see every day and the personal sacrifices many of you make, far away from family and friends," he said. "I ask each of you to always remember that what you've accomplished as a member of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam has made a difference in the lives of those you've served and in the lives of those you've served with."

The outgoing commander went on to speak of the pride he felt at having served his nation for almost a third of a century. Miller will retire to his hometown of Minnesota after more than 32 years of distinguished service.

"I have received more from the Navy than I could ever hope to put into it. I am a better, happier and healthier man because of my service," he said. "I am very surprised at how fast these years have passed, but I have no regrets. I am as proud of my Navy service as anything in my life."

After the reading of official orders, Haws said that he was humbled by the opportunity and challenges ahead.

"As a command, we look forward to strengthening the alliance between Navy medicine and the people of Guam, and to preparing the very best medical and dental care to each and every patient who comes through our doors," Haws said.

The new commanding officer then took a moment to reflect upon Miller's legacy.

"Capt. Miller, I am truly in awe of your stellar career. Starting as a hospital corpsman, transitioning to a Medical Service Corps officer, and finally as a stellar leader of Navy Medicine," Haws remarked. "I reflect with great admiration on the thousands of lives you have positively touched throughout your 32 years in uniform. Your passion and commitment to patient care has set the standard for this command and Navy Medicine. Your legacy will endure long beyond your departure."

Haws comes to his new position after having served as executive officer of USNH Beaufort, S.C. from June 2007 to May 2010. His previous leadership roles include department head of pediatrics, USNH Bremerton; director for Branch Health Clinics, USNH Yokosuka; and specialty advisor to the Navy surgeon general for the pediatric nursing and pediatric nurse practitioner communities.

The mission of the USNH Guam Navy Medicine team is to provide world-class health services in support of the nation's military mission — anytime, anywhere.

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