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Winn Hospital welcomes new CO
Col. Margaret Berryman
New Winn Army Community Hospital commander Col. Margaret Berryman, with her mother and her two children alongside, salutes the 3rd Infantry Division Band as the troops pass in review Wednesday morning. Photos by Pat Donahue.

The chain of Fort Stewart’s care command changed hands Wednesday morning at Cottrell Field.

Col. Jason Seery handed the MEDDAC flag to incoming Winn Army Community Hospital commander Col. Margaret Berryman, signifying the transfer of duty for leading the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield’s health care elements.

Brig. Gen. Lance Rainey, commander, Medical Readiness Command, East, praised Col. Seery, who is headed to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the Army’s Human Resources Command. Rainey noted Seery and his wife Andrea were named the 2003 family of the year on Fort Stewart.

“You took Winn Army Community Hospital from a place where people went to work to a place where they came for a purpose,” Brig. Gen. Rainey said. “You helped them understand the importance of their mission and you led them to purpose. In doing so, you changed everything we measure.

“You leave this organization better than you found it and you did it in a way that was sustainable.”

Col. Seery did that, Brig. Gen. Rainey said, during one of “the most difficult times I’ve seen in my military career in medicine.”

Col. Berryman joined the Army while she was still in high school. A native of Poland, she emigrated to the U.S. in 1988. After earning a ROTC scholarship to Marion Military Institute and earning her commission as a second lieutenant, she obtained a nursing degree from New York University.

Before coming to Stewart, she was the Army Nurse Corps Specific Branch Proponent Officer at the Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio.

“I love being a nurse,” she said. “Nursing is a giving profession. Having the ability to couple it with an Army nurse, bridging those two professions is humbling. I am excited about building on the foundations of these great leaders and continuing our excellence of providing great care for our soldiers and their families.”

Among Col. Seery’s other duties while being the WACH commander was serving as a trauma advisor to the Army surgeon general.

“The coolest thing,” he said, “was being a proud honorary Dogfaced Soldier. Thanks to the thousands of 3rd ID soldiers who let me carry your patch.”

When Seery took command two years ago, he said he stood at the same podium and thought in the back of his mind what the next two years would be like. Those two years, he said, were “far beyond I could ever imagine.

“This is the most amazing assignment I’ve ever had.”

Under Col. Seery’s tenure, the hospital received an A rating from Leapfrog and the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, said it had the least amount of findings in Winn’s existence. Seery praised the staff in his command.

“In my 36 years of service, I have never worked with a more impressive group of eclectic individuals with exceptional work ethics and an understanding of the true supporting role we have,” he said. “You made my job seem easy.”

Col. Seery also offered Col. Berryman some advice as she takes over the care for 55,000 beneficiaries.

“You will be challenged,” he said, “but it will be the best two years of your life.”

Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie
Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie renders honors on behalf of armor and cavalry troopers.
Col. Jason Seery.
Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Rudder of Division Artillery bestows the order of St. Barbara on Col. Jason Seery.
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