Pursuant to the Base Realignment and Closure Law of 2005, the Joint Task Force National Capital Medicine (JTF Cap Med) was established in 2008. Its mission was to integrate military health care in the National Capital Region, including the merging of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) and the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), and the transition of the DeWitt Army Community Hospital (DACH) into the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH). On 15 September 2011 WRAMC and NNMC united to become the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNNMC) in Bethesda and the billion-dollar FBCH opened its doors. To handle the myriad of issues involved in such a major transformation, the JTF Cap Med endured. Having completed its mission, it was disestablished on 30 September 2013.
In March 2013 the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton B. Carter, directed that the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and a subordinate organization, the National Capital Region Medical Directorate (NCR-MD) , be established on 1 October 2013. The purpose of the DHA was to integrate services that could be shared between Army, Navy and Air Force medicine such as information technology, logistics, education, research, and others. The purpose of the NCR-MD was to continue the work of the JTF Cap Med in integrating military health care in the Joint facilities, WRNMMC and FBCH) and optimize and integrate military medical care in the rest of the military health facilities in the National Capital Region market. This includes the Malcolm Grow Medical Clinic and Surgical Center (MGMCSC – Joint Base Andrews), the Kimbrough Army Community Clinic (KACC – Fort Meade), the Navy clinics at Quantico and Annapolis, the Joint Pathology Center, the National Center of Excellence for Traumatic Brain Injury, and their subordinate facilities.
I came to the National Capital Region (NCR) as Chief Medical Officer at the DACH in July 2007 and have been serving in military medicine in the NCR since. In January 2012 I took over as the Director for Clinical, Business and Warrior Operations at JTF Cap Med headquarters and I maintained that position through the transition to the NCR-MD. These experiences and others have provided many leadership lessons that I hope will be useful to my staff, my students, and others who have interest in these areas. I have assigned one to two readings per month to my teammates at the NCR-MD, and now make them available to all.