Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Order of Military Medical Merit presented to USU medical student

Military personnel receiving the Order of Military Merit Dr. Althea Green-Dixon, director of USU’s Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program and director of Recruitment for USU’s School of Medicine bestows the Order of Military Merit on Army 2nd Lt. Alex Villahermosa for his accomplishments while serving as a senior non-commissioned officer and medical sergeant (Photo by: Tom Balfour, USU).

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Army 2nd Lt. Alex Villahermosa recently became the first Uniformed Services University medical student to ever receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit, or O2M3, presented by the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) for significant contributions to the regiment. A surprised and humbled Villahermosa was recognized for his achievements during a small ceremony at USU on Feb. 11.  

“I didn’t tell him that we were doing this today. I have been stringing him along for the last year and he had no idea that this was going to happen,” said Dr. Althea Green-Dixon, director of USU’s Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) and director of Recruitment for USU’s School of Medicine.  

The O2M3 was founded in 1982 by the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Health Services Command to recognize excellence and promote esprit de corps among AMEDD personnel. Prior to coming to USU for medical school through the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, Villahermosa served for several years on active duty as an Army medic, demonstrating distinguished service and leadership in medical education in a variety of roles.  

Villahermosa was recognized for his contributions as a senior non-commissioned officer and medical sergeant. While serving with a medical operations unit, Villahermosa developed 21 advanced medical courses. He also wrote the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Advanced Tactical Paramedic exam, as well as Tactical Medicine Emergency Protocols. These training programs supported AMEDD missions worldwide, and have enhanced proficiency, trauma protocols, and technical rescue skills of medical personnel.  

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

As a sergeant first class at the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command, in Joint Pacific Command, Hawaii, Villahermosa deployed to Vietnam, Laos, Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Cambodia to uncover the remains of missing service members. He served as sole provider for more than 65 team members, and as the team’s senior medical representative, he also provided medical guidance to 43 team augmentees. While deployed to Papua New Guinea, he treated more than 200 pediatric patients suffering from Kwashiorkor Syndrome, a severe form of malnutrition. In doing so, he not only improved their quality of life, but also gained the trust of the locals. 

Military personnel wearing mask posing for a photo during an award ceremony
Army 2nd Lt. Alex Villahermosa, (center) recently became the first USU medical student to receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit presented by the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) for significant contributions to the Regiment. He was recognized for this achievement during a small ceremony at USU on Feb. 11 (Photo by: Tom Balfour, USU)

Villahermosa was also lauded for his work as a Senior Medical Sergeant in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he helped plan and execute more than 150 combat operations, including direct action missions with partner Iraqi forces. He was also pivotal during Foreign Internal Defense training, which increased the Iraqi counterpart’s ability to conduct unilateral operations. He developed, coordinated, and taught a comprehensive course of instruction to develop Iraqi Police Special Weapons and Tactics medics in their combat medical capabilities and trauma response.

Green-Dixon presented the medal to Villahermosa, surrounded virtually and in person by a number of past O2M3 recipients, including retired Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. (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 nominated Villahermosa for “his dynamic leadership and medical acumen” that “contributed to increased mission readiness, as well as to the medical enterprise.” 

“Normally we would all be clustered behind you, file by and shake your hand.  We would all have a word of advice as we went by,” said Schoomaker, who joined virtually.  “I’m trying to think of the dozens, if not hundreds of O2M3s that I’ve been privileged to present this to award to, but I can’t think of another time that we’ve given this to a lieutenant or to an NCO below the rank of E-8 or possibly E-7, and that’s because it takes such a long time to make a substantial contribution to the AMEDD regiment and to the military family. In those occasions that you have this medallion on, I think people who are informed will see that you are a very special person, especially given your relative position within the hierarchy. You now have the opportunity throughout the remainder of your career to identify people and inspire them to make the contributions that you have, and to keep your eyes out for those people that you think are bound for the same honor someday. Be very aggressive about encouraging those people.”

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

“I had no idea that this was going to happen.  I’m kind of at a loss for words.  I’ve loved serving in the military and being in military medicine as an NCO and as a medical student about to graduate,” Villahermosa said.  “I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and that’s something I hope to pay forward for the rest of my career and maybe even after. Thank you.”

 

You also may be interested in...

Multinational trauma course aims to standardize battlefield care

Article
10/20/2020
Two soldiers, one laying on the ground and the other giving him medical attention

The international course...was aimed at providing unit-level health care providers life-saving instruction to increase survivability at the point of injury.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Navy tele-health supports Guam civilian hospital during COVID-19

Article
10/19/2020
Woman sitting in front of several computer monitors

[T]his is the first-ever DoD tasking for telemedicine support in response to a request from civil authorities for aid.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Combat Support | Global Health Engagement | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Nurses Week

Military pharmacy teams continue dedicated legacy of service

Article
10/19/2020
Black and white image of soldiers on the battlefield

Seven military pharmacy professionals have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | TRICARE Pharmacy Program

Navy unit provided COVID-19 support to Peruvian First Responders

Article
10/16/2020
Fireman getting COVID test in firehouse garage

The province of Callao has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Peru.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

NH Bremerton relies on experienced nurse to help new moms

Article
10/16/2020
Military personnel gives nurse an award

"Navy Medicine has taken me from novice to expert over a 20 year career..."

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Women's Health | Patient Safety | Nurses Week

Air Force Unit provides worldwide medical response capability

Article
10/15/2020
Two military personnel loading equipment onto an aircraft

The 379th EAES crews provide time sensitive in-flight patient care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

DHA’s new Joint Operations Center serves as essential integration hub

Article
10/14/2020
Three military personnel looking at a document

From conference rooms to one location, DHA’s JOC gets an upgrade.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Article
10/7/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium.

Adaptation key to providing outstanding care to beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Access to Health Care | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Clinical Quality Management | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

NMHM documents military medicine advancements during the Civil War

Article
10/5/2020
Old-time photo of soldiers with crutches, canes, and missing limbs.

Initial challenges to military medicine stemmed from limited medical knowledge and lack of organization in the medical corps.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Military Medical History | National Museum of Health and Medicine

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 10 - October 2020

Report
10/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Characterizing the contribution of chronic pain diagnoses to the neurologic burden of disease, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2009–2018; Surveillance snapshot: Influenza immunization among U.S. Armed Forces healthcare workers, August 2015–April 2020; Acute and chronic pancreatitis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Defense Health Agency celebrates seven years of service

Article
10/1/2020
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place holding a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery

Seven ways DHA has improved military readiness over the years.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation | Technology | Global Health Engagement | TRICARE Health Program | Total Force Fitness

Army Medical Service Officers achieve Quartermaster School first

Article
9/29/2020
Two military personnel in masks pose for picture

The curriculum covers airdrop planning, leadership, supervision, and management.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DHA’s Vaccine Safety Hubs emphasize safety

Article
9/29/2020
Soldier filling a vaccine needle

How MHS works to improve “all things vaccine related."

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Who’s got YOUR six?

Article
9/25/2020
Military husband hugging his wife

Social support is critical for performance and well-being, but your vast sources of support might not be fully obvious.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DoD pharmacy innovation improves patient safety and convenience

Article
9/22/2020
A pharmacy technician opens a locker holding prescription medication

Pick up your prescription when it’s convenient for you

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Technology | TRICARE Pharmacy Program
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 44

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.