Army Lt. Alex Villahermosa recently became the very first Uniform Services University (USU) medical student to receive the Order of Military Medical Merit, or O2M3. The award was presented by the Army Medical Service (AMEDD) for his significant contributions to the regiment.

On February 11, 2021, Villahermosa was awarded for his achievements in a small ceremony at the USU. “I didn’t tell him we were doing this today. I chained him for a year and he had no idea this was going to happen, ”said Dr Althea Green-Dixon. Green-Dixon is the recruiting director for the medical degree preparatory program, a partnership between the USU and the military that offers enlisted service members the opportunity to meet the requirements for acceptance into medical school.

The Order of Military Medical Merit is a unique private organization founded by the Commander General of the U.S. Army Medical Services Command in April 1982 to recognize excellence and promote camaraderie and esprit de corps within the department. army medical (AMEDD) personal. Membership of the Order denotes distinguished service which is recognized by the senior management of AMEDD. Members receive a certificate and a beautiful medallion which indicates to everyone they meet that they are members of the Order.

Before coming to USU for medical school through the medical degree preparatory program (EMDP2), 2nd Lieutenant Villahermosa had served for several years on active duty as a Special Forces medic for the “Green Beret” Army, demonstrating his service and leadership in a variety of medical and educational roles.

Villahermosa was recognized for his contributions as a senior non-commissioned officer (non-commissioned officer) and as a special forces medical sergeant.

While serving in Special Forces, SFC Villahermosa developed advanced medical courses. He also passed the US Special Operations Command Advanced Tactical Paramedic Exam and Tactical Medicine Emergency Protocols. These training programs have supported AMEDD missions around the world and improved the skills, trauma protocols and technical rescue skills of medical personnel.

Army Lt. Alex Villahermosa, center, recently became the first USU medical student to be awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit,
or O2M3, presented by the Army Medical Service (AMEDD) for significant contributions to the regiment. He was recognized for
this achievement during a small ceremony at the USU on February 11. (Photo by Tom Balfour, USU)

Villahermosa also designed and served as the lead instructor for a unit level medical indoctrination course and developed a Modular Articulated Splint which was patented in 2014. The device has been used to immobilize the limbs in configurations other than straight, such as the elbow and knee.

As a First Class Sergeant at Joint Prisoner of War / Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC), Hawaii, he deployed to Vietnam, Laos, Korea, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia to uncover the remains of missing servicemen.

During his time at JPAC, he was the sole supplier to over 65 team members and, as the team’s senior medical representative, he also provided medical advice to 43 team reinforcements.

Villahermosa was also commended for his work as Special Forces Senior Medical Sergeant in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It has executed more than 150 combat operations, including direct action missions with partner Iraqi forces. He served as a chief instructor during Foreign Home Defense training, which increased the Iraqis’ ability to conduct unilateral operations.

Villahermosa developed, coordinated and taught a comprehensive instructional course to train Iraqi Police Special Weapons and Tactical Medics in their combat medical capabilities and trauma response.

Dr Green-Dixon presented the medallion to Villahermosa, surrounded virtually and in person by many past O2M3 recipients, including the retired Army Surgeon General. Lieutenant-General (Dr.) Eric Schoomaker and USU President Emeritus, Dr Charles Rice.

“Second Lieutenant Villahermosa’s dedication to excellence has enabled world-class medical support to joint training and deployed operations,” said Green-Dixon, who named Villahermosa for “his dynamic leadership and sense. medical “who” contributed to better preparation for the mission, as well as to the medical enterprise.

Schoomaker said the following during the ceremony:

“Normally we would all be gathered behind you, we would follow and shake your hand. We would all have advice as we go. I’m trying to think of the dozens, if not the hundreds of O2M3s that I had the privilege of presenting this award to, I can’t think of another time we gave this to a lieutenant or a non-commissioned officer in below grade E-8 or maybe E-7, and that’s because it takes so long to make a substantial contribution to the AMEDD regiment and the military family. [On] the occasions when you have this locket, I think people who are informed will see that you are a very special person, especially given your relative position within the hierarchy.

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“You now have the opportunity throughout your career to identify people and inspire them to make the contributions you have, and keep an eye out for people who you think will one day be linked with the same honor. Be very aggressive in encouraging these people.

“You are exactly the kind of officer we had in mind when we launched the EMDP2 program,” Rice said. “You are a great example to others. We are very, very proud of you, and it is an honor you well deserve.

“I had no idea this was going to happen. I’m a bit at a loss for words. I loved serving in the military and being in military medicine as a non-commissioned officer and as a medical student about to graduate, ”Villahermosa said.

“I am really grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me and this is something that I hope to pay off for the rest of my career and maybe even after.”

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