OHSU Bremerton Change of Command held at Naval Hospital Bremerton

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

Captain Julie Zappone turned over leadership of Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton to Captain Matthew A. McQueen during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014.

A warm regard and shared handshake between Capt. Julie Zappone and Captain Matthew A. McQueen as Zappone transfers commanding officer duties of Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton to Matthew during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014 (Photo by Mass Communication 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht, NHB Public Affairs).
A warm regard and shared handshake between Capt. Julie Zappone and Captain Matthew A. McQueen as Zappone transfers commanding officer duties of Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton to Matthew during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014 (Photo by Mass Communication 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht, NHB Public Affairs).

For Zappone, a Spokane Wash. native, the ceremony marks the end of her three-year tenure as commanding officer of OHSU Bremerton from Dec. 2011 to Nov. 2014, as well as her direct involvement in the unit for approximately nine years. Her next assignment will be at Navy Medical Education Training Command, San Antonio, Texas.

“It’s customary for outgoing skippers to make remarks. Our tour is normally two years, but they thought I needed more time to get things done. I can speak to all the accomplishments we have done, but they’re not as important as our people, who are top-notch,” said Zappone, thanking her command leadership and Sailors for their ability and capability to take on multiple duties and responsibilities and perform above expectations.

Zappone was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by President Obama for her exceptional leadership and meticulous management while leading 15 geographically dispersed detachments consisting of 409 members in achieving great results. Her leadership culminated in the completion of 9,888 periodic health assessments and dental exams ensuring thousands of Sailors and Marines were deployment-ready and saving approximately of $1.3 million. Her command also produced an average of 91 percent medical and dental readiness, while delivering 102,000 hours of clinical and dental services to Navy Medicine West, for a combined total of $9.2 million in contributory medical support.

Under Zappone’s direction, 74 Sailors mobilized to support operational requirements in Kuwait, Bahrain, Horn of Africa, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany. Additionally, she launched the first Navy Medicine West combined field combat exercise at the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute on Camp Pendleton, contributing to the enhanced mobilization readiness for 126 Reserve Component personnel across Navy Medicine.

Zappone wrapped up her comments specifically focusing on her family.

“We in uniform stand on our family’s shoulders,” she said, noting that her husband and three children continually provided strong support during her career. “I’m (also) happy to see and welcome Capt. McQueen to the Pacific Northwest. You have a group of outstanding Sailors and officers.”

“It is my sincere appreciation to serve this command. I have been presented with an adept and capable command which speaks very highly of everyone here. We’re all volunteers and I appreciate everyone here and recognize the sacrifices, such as being away from family for sustained periods of time,” said McQueen, Navy Medical Corps, relocating from New Orleans.

Capt. Julie Zappone receives a family-embrace after turning over leadership of Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton to Captain Matthew A. McQueen during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014 (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Gretchen Albrecht, NHB Public Affairs).
Capt. Julie Zappone receives a family-embrace after turning over leadership of Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton to Captain Matthew A. McQueen during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014 (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Gretchen Albrecht, NHB Public Affairs).

OHSU Bremerton’s mission is to ensure all Sailors can rapidly respond to the needs of Naval Hospital Bremerton, Navy Medicine and the nation by keeping themselves and those assigned in a constant state of readiness; professionally, physically and mentally. OHSU Bremerton ensures force health protection of all Sailors by assisting Navy Operational Support Centers throughout three regions – Northwest, Midwest and Southwest – by completion of physical health assessment’s and dental exams. OHSU detachments can be found in Anchorage, Alaska; Whidbey, Kitsap, Spokane and Everett, Wash.; Portland and Springfield, Ore.; Boise, Idaho; Helena and Billings, Mont.; Cheyenne, Wyo., Fargo, N.D. and Sioux Falls, S.D.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Denver and Fort Carson, Colo.