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Defense Health Agency Director Promoted to Lieutenant General

Image of Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, the Defense Health Agency’s fourth director and first African American DHA director, poses with family and friends after she was promoted to Lieutenant General on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photo by Robert Hammer). Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, the Defense Health Agency’s fourth director and first African American DHA director, poses with family and friends after she was promoted to Lieutenant General on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photo by Robert Hammer)

The new Defense Health Agency director pinned on her third star during a ceremony at Fort Myer Memorial Chapel, Virginia, on Jan. 20, 2023.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland took the DHA directorship reins on Jan. 3, 2023.

The agency’s fourth director chose her friend, mentor, and former boss U.S. Army Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the current Army Surgeon General, to host the ceremony. Former U.S. Army Surgeon General retired Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West also attended.

"General West was the first African American female from West Point to make the rank of three stars. Today, you're getting ready to see the second with Telita Crosland," said Dingle.

Dingle presented Crosland with her certificate of promotion to lieutenant general and administered Crosland’s oath of office. He then performed a moving reading of “Mother to Son” by the poet Langston Hughes.

“She strives for excellence and to do things perfect and right. Not by herself but as a team leader, as a member leading the team, and as a member who’s not afraid to get in the boat and to row, just like the other teammates, to work tough wicked problems. She made my job easy there. She made it easy,” said Dingle.

“She serves as an example for all of us of how to keep climbing through the storms, through the blizzards, through the Cat. 5 hurricanes that life will through at you,” Dingle also said.

Crosland was joined by several family members, including her son, Jackson.

The ceremony was also attended by key DHA and Department of Defense leaders, including former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and current Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences President, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Ms. Seileen Mullen, and Department of the Army Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Donna Martin.

In her remarks, Crosland recognized Dingle’s mentorship throughout her military career. “You are without a doubt a huge reason why I’m here today,” said Crosland.

In her decades-long service to the military, Crosland has held a series of assignments in accordance with Dingle’s career.

“I have followed General Dingle in every assignment as a general officer—from the MEDCOM357 to the RHC-Atlantic to the deputy surgeon general—you are a selfless impactful leader who always set me up for success,” said Crosland.

[Watch the full video of her promotion ceremony.]

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Last Updated: February 03, 2023
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