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...

Eyes on it: Optometry clinic ensures mission readiness

Article
2/4/2020
Dr. Courtney Humphrey, 633rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometrist, holds a lens used to look into a patient’s eye at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Jan. 27, 2020. Humphrey is one of three doctors in the Langley AFB optometry clinic, treating active duty personnel from all branches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sarah Dowe)

Eye exams are more than just reading a chart

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

DoD releases guidance to protect forces from novel coronavirus

Article
1/31/2020
The novel coronavirus is a variant of other coronaviruses, such as this colorized transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus particles (blue) found near the periphery of an infected VERO E6 cell (yellow). Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by NIAID)

Basic infection controls offer best defense against illness

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Sorry flu, not this year

Article
1/27/2020
U.S. Air Force Kathryn Klein, right, an aerospace medical service specialist with 182nd Medical Group, Illinois Air National Guard, administers an influenza vaccination during drill weekend at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Dec. 8, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, and the best prevention is getting a flu vaccine each year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Paul R. Helmig II)

The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical supply chain teamed with Department of Defense partners to provide 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine to service members, dependents and retirees.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Health Readiness | Influenza Summary and Reports | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2021-22

Coronavirus: What providers, patients should know

Article
1/24/2020
Many forms of coronavirus exist among both humans and animals, but this new strain’s has caused alarm. (CDC graphic)

What to do now that virus has appeared in U.S.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Mid-season flu activity increase: How to keep healthy

Article
1/22/2020
Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Despite reports of increased flu activity in the U.S., the Military Health System remains vigilant

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Summary and Reports | Health Readiness | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere | Vaccine Recommendations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

DTRA contributes to historic Ebola vaccine effort

Article
1/17/2020
Air Force Staff Sgt. Lee Nembhard, an aeromedical evacuation technician assigned to the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, straps a simulated Ebola patient to a litter during a Transport Isolation System training exercise at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Megan Munoz)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves new Ebola vaccine

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance | Global Health Engagement

HPV vaccine age limit raised by FDA to age 45

Article
1/14/2020
Image of HPV virus. Click to open a larger version of the image.

HPV shot protects against a host of diseases in men, women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Women's Health | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations

U.S. Transportation Command: DoD’s manager for global patient movement

Article
1/9/2020
An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis)

On a weekly basis, USTRANSCOM moves up to 40 patients from overseas to CONUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Joint Chiefs say mind, body, spirit all part of Total Force Fitness

Article
1/7/2020
Image of a Marine climbing a rope ladder

2020 focus on factors making service members, families “resilient”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Air Force studies fatigue, sleep to enhance readiness

Article
12/31/2019
An Air Force Airman sleeps inside a C-17 Globemaster III during a flight over an undisclosed location in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

Good sleep habits are closely related to overall health and performance

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

Combat Support Role of DHA unique within DoD

Article
12/30/2019
Okinawa, Japan (June 7, 2019) Hospital corpsmen respond to a simulated patient casualty during a tactical combat casualty care exercise as part of a rigorous Jungle Medicine Course at Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan. The 10-day course trains Navy medical personnel assigned to Marine forces on jungle survival skills, patient tracking, field medical care, and casualty evacuation techniques. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

“… laser-focused on advancing readiness and supporting the warfighter”

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Air Force International Health Specialist builds medical capability in Iraq

Article
12/30/2019
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jessica Cowden, Infectious Disease Programs chief with the Defense Institute for Medical Operations, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, poses for a photo with the NATO Mission Iraq Embedded Training Team during the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, June 25, 2019. (Photo By Josh Mahler)

Cowden’s work facilitated the exchange of medical knowledge and practices between Kurdish and Iraqi security forces.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Guard and Reserve crucial to CCATT expansion

Article
12/20/2019
Air Force Maj. Lori Wyatt, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, assembles a gurney during a casualty evacuation training at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. The Air Force is increasing the number of CCATTs to support future readiness requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

The Guard and Reserve support the bulk of aeromedical evacuation, CCATT capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Global Health Engagement strengthens partnerships

Article
12/20/2019
U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Sullivan, a pediatrician assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, gives a sticker to a two-year-old boy after examining his skin infection at a temporary medical treatment site in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. During Comfort’s deployment, the crew worked with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at a temporary medical treatment site, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maria G. Llanos)

GHE advances U.S. national security interests around the world

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 
Showing results 121 - 135 Page 9 of 10

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.