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NEWS | Sept. 29, 2020

Pair of Soldiers from Grand Rapids, Mich., assume leadership of Army Reserve Medical Readiness and Training Command

By Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jones and Col. Meritt Phillips Medical Readiness and Training Command

On Sept. 12, a pair of Soldiers native to Grand Rapids, Michigan, assumed command of the Army Reserve Medical Readiness and Training Command in ceremonies on Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Marsiglia took the helm from Brig. Gen. Lisa Doumont in a morning ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command.

“The MRTC is responsible for a critical mission of the readiness of the U.S. Army medical units,” said Dingle. “Combat units deploy today and fight tonight. MRTC ensures that medical units are ready when called upon, to ensure the Soldiers can return to duty tomorrow because of the abilities of those medical units to conserve the fighting strength.”

As the commanding general of MRTC, Marsiglia is now responsible for three Regional Medical Training Sites and three Medical Training Brigades located across the country.

“I look forward to taking this unit into the future and into the unknown,” said Marsiglia. “None of us know what the future holds, but what I do know is I am extraordinarily excited to be on the team that will be in the thick of it.”

“When our Soldiers go in to combat, they know if they should have their worst day ever; they are going to get the best treatment they could ever expect. That is what we do.”

Most recently, Marsiglia served as the Deputy Commanding General of Army Reserve Medical Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Mobilization Readiness and Army Reserve Affairs, Office.

In an afternoon ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert L. Gessler assumed responsibility as the MRTC’s senior enlisted Soldier. His role is to advise the MRTC commander on all enlisted Soldier matters, particularly the areas affecting readiness, training, safety, leader development, and Army Families. He most recently served as the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 451st Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

Both Soldiers entered their military service from Grand Rapids communities.

In 1981, Marsiglia enlisted in the Army after graduating from Kenowa Hills High School in Walker, later earning a commission in the Medical Service Corps. In his civilian career, Marsiglia retired after 27 years with the Gaylord Police Department. He resides with his wife Kris in Gaylord.

Marsiglia's mother, Maureen Marsiglia, is still a Grand Rapids ‘Westsider’, having joined the community when she married her husband, the late Tony Marsiglia, 58 years ago.

Gessler enlisted after graduating from Lowell High School in 1982. He and his wife Milagro, now reside in Kansas City, Kansas where he is employed by the Department of Homeland Security, but he maintains his ties to Michigan.

“My parents, William and Kathleen Gessler, still live in the house that I grew up in near Lowell,” shared Gessler.

Less than one percent of Soldiers achieve the rank or levels of responsibly Marsiglia and Gessler have assumed.

“It is an honor to represent the state of Michigan as we serve in America’s Army Reserve,” said Marsiglia. “We take great pride in the opportunity to lead the talented Citizen-Soldiers that make up the Medical Readiness and Training Command.”

The ceremony video and imagery can be viewed at: