USAMRDC Celebrates Top Honor in Streamer Ceremony
Speaking to a small crowd of Soldiers, staffers, and employees on Blue Gray Field on July 1, Brigadier General Michael Talley, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) and Fort Detrick, ran through a quick, detailed list of the USAMRDC’s most recent and notable accomplishments.
"This is an organization that’s been able to discover vaccines, remedies, and countermeasures for endemic diseases," said Talley. "This is the organization that has developed those countermeasures, year after year."
Indeed, it’s that very same brand of consistent and significant commitment to the health and safety of the Warfighter that spurred the gathering the first place. Talley, along with leadership staff from both USAMRDC headquarters and the USAMRDC Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) called the early summer ceremony to celebrate the awarding of a new campaign streamer to the Command flag.
Said Talley, "When you’re talking about an organization that is considered a generating force, especially considering all the things we do for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines on the battlefield, this is hugely significant."
The award itself, granted by order of the Secretary of the Army – and which specifically names the USAMRDC’s commitment to duty and its impact on the healthcare of both Service Members and their families as superlatives – focuses explicitly on the years 2015 to 2017, a two-year period which saw the development of a number of key medical achievements.
Notably during that time period, the USAMRDC directly supported the research that led to the development of the drug Ervebo, the first-ever preventive vaccine for Ebola virus disease (EVD). Ervebo was given U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in December 2019 thanks in large part to work performed by both the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and WRAIR.
While singling out a number of other Command achievements during the aforementioned time period, Talley was keen to point to the large-scale impact of vaccines and related prophylactic measures as an important contribution to any battlefield effort, and one which undergirds the USAMRDC mission as a whole.
"Historically, what takes Soldiers out of the fight is not a weapons system or kinetic effects," said Talley, "but it’s usually disease and non-battle injury."
To that end, Talley – whose address was also streamed on the Internet via Facebook Live due to social distancing guidelines – was quick to thank the assembled Soldiers, staffers, and their respective labs and teams for their ongoing work in developing the countermeasures required to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps one day in the near future, he posited, the USAMRDC might receive yet another streamer for the integral work they’re performing now.
"That’s the power of serving at MRDC," said Talley in closing. "And so congratulations to everyone who has served in this great Command."