U.S. Army Dental Activity, Fort Huachuca, has a new leader following a change of command ceremony on historic Brown Parade Field Friday morning.
Col. Nasrin Mazuji relinquished the commanding role to incoming commander Col. Julio Gonzales during the ceremony. More than 50 people attended.
“I have known Nas [Mazuji] for a long time. She did a great job here. This is a tough place to work, taking care of the students coming through. That’s always a tough challenge, and Nas has done a great job with that,” said reviewing officer, Col. Michael Doran.
Mazuji began her Army career as the brigade dental officer for the 2nd Armor Division (Forward) in Garlstadt, Germany in 1985. Other dental assignments include: officer in charge, Camp Edwards Dental Clinic, Korea; general dental officer, Stuttgart, Germany; Vilseck Dental Clinic commander; OIC, Bamberg Dental Clinic, Bamberg, Germany; and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Dental Clinic commander, Mons, Belgium.
Doran joked to the crowd about trying to talk Mazuji out of retirement. “I wish you all the best in your retirement. I really wish you weren’t retiring because the Dental Corps is not going to be quite the same without Nas because guess you guys probably know Nas. Nas is not really afraid to say what she thinks. I’m really going to miss that,” he said.
“It has been my pleasure to spend the last three years here with the great organization and at a fantastic location. Every time I think the Army has sent me to the best location possible … I pcs’d [left for a permanent change of station], and I find myself in an even better assignment,” Mazuji told the crowd in her departing speech.
“The DENTAC and the Runion Dental Clinic Soldiers and staff can be proud of what they have accomplished in improving the oral health of the military community here,” she added.
“The overall atmosphere of cooperation has made this assignment one of the best in my 27 years of service. The only consolation I have in leaving this command is that I am passing it on to Julio; he definitely has the expertise, the skills and the temperament to take this command to the next level. Again, thanks to all those who have helped put this ceremony together and who contributed to my success in the last three years. Thank you,” Mazuji said.
Gonzales became a commissioned general dental officer in 1989 and attained his certification in prosthodontics from the Army Prosthodontic Program in 1999. His assignments include: team leader, 89th Medical Detachment, Heidelberg, Germany; brigade dental surgeon, 215th Forward Support Battalion; general dental officer, Fort Hood, Texas; chief prosthodontist, Hanau, Germany; OIC, Dental Clinic 3, Fort Hood, Texas; OIC, Billy Johnson Dental Clinic, Fort Hood, Texas; and OIC, Perkins Dental Clinic, Fort Hood, Texas.
He most recently served as the Dental Clinic Commander in Stuttgart, Germany.
“In true Army fashion they got a good person to take over. I’ve known Julio for a long time. I know Julio is going to do a great job,” Doran said.
“Thank you for taking your time to share in this tradition, a tradition I am proud to participate in, in this historic setting. I am blessed to be here and fortunate to be following in the excellent leadership of Colonel Mazuji and to work with the Western Region of Dental Command and Colonel Doran,” Gonzales said.
“I look forward to working with the great staff of Runion Dental Clinic and supporting the outstanding service members of Fort Huachuca,” Gonzales added.
After the ceremony, the crowd was invited onto the field to show appreciation to the outgoing commander and her family. Mazuji plans to retire in Sierra Vista.