Capt. Jose Acosta, commander of Naval Medical Center San Diego for two years, is moving up to serve as lead medical officer for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet.

Acosta will relinquish command to Capt. Joel Roos at a ceremony set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Balboa Park medical center.

A Virginia native, Acosta will be responsible for the medical readiness of sailors and Marines aboard ships, submarines and aircraft stationed in California, Washington and Hawaii.

Capt. Jose Acosta of Naval Medical Center San Diego. Photo via U.S. Navy

“The transition is truly a bittersweet moment,” Acosta said. “While I look forward to future opportunities to positively impact the health and well-being of our operational forces, I leave behind an amazing organization.”

Acosta in 1996 won a fellowship in trauma and critical care at UC San Diego. He served at U.S. Naval Hospital Keflavik, Iceland, from 1996 to 1997 as the department head for the Surgery Service. He served as director of the Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit and director of surgical services on board the USNS Comfort.

Capt. Jose Acosta speaks at a diversity event in December 2015. Photo via Facebook

He transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1998 but was recalled to active duty in May 2004 and served as senior medical officer for the Army’s 325th Forward Surgical Team in Kandahar, Afghanistan, until March 2005.

During his most recent tour, Acosta led NMCSD through several operational and medical milestones that ultimately improved medical readiness and enhanced the patient experience of the 125,000 beneficiaries enrolled to the hospital, the Navy said.

“When I came aboard two years ago, I marveled at the resources available to us, but noticed that the true measure of quality came with the staff,” Acosta told the 6,500 sailors and civilian staff members he led in a farewell video.

“Ladies and gentlemen, your commitment to the highest standards of care make Balboa the Navy’s finest hospital. Your dedication to your craft and to your patients elevated our reputation among military and civilian hospitals alike. I’m so very proud of all that we’ve accomplished together these past two years. Continue to raise the bar and achieve excellence.”

Roos, an emergency physician by trade and native of Cincinnati, will assume command as the 43rd naval officer to lead NMCSD.

Roos previously served as fleet surgeon for the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet, where he was responsible for operational medical planning and execution, in addition to theater security cooperation engagements throughout the Western Pacific. His last assignment in San Diego was as the deputy commander for NMCSD in 2009.

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