Story by Russell Toof on 06/13/2019SEMBACH, Germany - Dental Health Command Europe welcomed its new commander during a change-of-command ceremony June 13 at the Sembach Gym.
U.S. Army Col. Manuel Pozo-Alonso assumed command of DHCE from Col. Stephen Tanner, following his previous assignment as the commander for Dental Health Activity Rheinland-Pfalz.
"I will do my best to continue to move the region forward," said Pozo-Alonso during his introductory speech. "General Stephens, I'm looking forward to working closer with you and your team. I appreciate your attendance today and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve with all of you."
Friends, service members and civilians said goodbye to Tanner, who commanded since 2016 and leaves Sembach for Falls Church, Va. where he will become the deputy dental corps chief for the Office of the Surgeon General.
"Col. Pozo-Alonso, you are no stranger to Europe and its unique challenges and your exceptional caliber as a leader, will lead this command to new heights," said Tanner. "I look forward to your continued success and your leadership."
DHCE provides sustained dental services in support of the forces in U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army Central and U.S. Army Africa to enable readiness and conserve the fighting strength while caring for Families and Soldiers for Life.
"Throughout his career, Col. Pozo-Alonso has excelled in an impressive variety of leadership, staff, and clinical jobs that render him more than prepared to assume this critical role and continue the tradition of excellence that defines DHCE," said Brig. Gen. Ron Stephens, the Regional Health Command Europe commanding general.
Originally from Zamora, Spain, Pozo-Alonso received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1990. In 1999, he received a certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from Children's National Medical Center, Georgetown University.
Pozo-Alonso's military career encompasses more than 29 years of service, including 12 years of active service in the U.S. Navy, five years in the Navy Ready Reserves and 11 years in the U.S. Army. His tours of duty include Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, U.S. Naval Dental Center in Yokosuka, Japan, the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. and the Republic of Korea.
Pozo-Alonso's awards include the Army's Legion of Merit, The Army's Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, The Navy Commendation Medal with three gold Stars and the Army and Navy Achievement Medals. He is also a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.