IRACH welcomes Cornes as new commander, Rettke moves to USAREC

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Col. Robert Cornes assumed command of Ireland Army Community Hospital from Col. Matthew Rettke during a change of command ceremony at the hospital July 9. Brig. Gen. Robert Tenhet, commander of Northern Regional Medical Command, hosted the event.

When Rettke departs IRACH, he will not leave post, but will become the U.S. Army Recruiting Command surgeon at Fort Knox.

“At my first commander’s call, I told you I could not predict the future of Ireland,” Rettke said. “But I also told you whatever it was to be… it be the very best one,” he said.

“You certainly have done that and more; exceeding my expectations time and time again. It has been my honor to serve as your commander, a privilege granted to so few I refuse to take for granted while leading from the front of this organization,” Rettke added.

Cornes comes to Fort Knox from the Senior Service College, Washington D.C. at Fort McNair.

He joins the organization as the hospital’s 13th commander.

“Thank you Major General (Peggy) Combs, commander for U.S. Army Cadet Command, for welcoming me in the Fort Knox community and for entrusting me with the leadership and responsibility to lead this community’s hospital,” Cornes said.

“It is truly and honor and privilege for me to serve as commander of this outstanding organization.”

Cornes is a native of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. In 1991, he graduated from Western Oregon State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business and was commissioned in the Medical Service Corps as a distinguished military graduate.

He has been married to his wife Tegan, of Portland, Oregon, for 24 years. They are the proud parents of two children, Andrew (17) and Kaitlyn (14). n