The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity honored its two new inductees of the Army Medical Department's Order of Military Medical Merit organization during its quarterly Town Hall meeting at the Fort Detrick Auditorium, April 18. Army Col. Ryan Bailey, USAMMDA commander, presented O2M3 certificates to Lt. Col. Tyra D. Fruge, USAMMDA deputy commander, and Lt. Col. Kara E. Schmid, former project manager for USAMMDA's Neurotrauma and Psychological Health Project Management Office. Schmid is currently transitioning to a new assignment as Joint Product Manager for Chemical Defense Pharmaceuticals.

The Order of Military Medical Merit is a unique, private organization founded by the Commanding General of U.S. Army Health Services Command in April 1982 to recognize excellence and promote fellowship and esprit de corps among Army Medical Department personnel. Membership in the Order recognizes those individuals who have clearly demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served in the Army Medical Department (for a minimum of 10 years) with selflessness, and have made a sustained contribution to the betterment of Army Medicine.

At the beginning of her military career, Fruge's first assignment was at the 32nd Medical Logistics Battalion, where she immediately deployed in support of NATO Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo and Macedonia as the detachment commander of a medical logistics detachment that served as the single integrated medical manager for the 75th Combat Support Hospital. Her past assignments include serving as the Executive Office and Department of the Army Systems coordinator within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Medical Systems Office, and serving as chief, Fort Hood Health Contracting Cell, where she provided contract support for over 415,000 beneficiaries in the Army Health System across 199 counties.

Over the past 15 years, Schmid has become a key leader in the research and development of scientific and medical materiel solutions for the Warfighter. As a research psychologist, she is recognized as a subject matter expert both in diagnostic testing of traumatic brain injury and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory approval process. She began her career at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, developing diagnostic assays to detect bio-warfare agents. Her past assignments include serving as deputy director of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Combat Casualty Care Research Program, and technical product manager for Traumatic Brain Injury acquisition products at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Over the past decade, Schmid has been closely involved with the Laboratory Assay for TBI program, which recently was awarded U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the first-ever blood test used to evaluate instances of mild TBI.

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With a mission to create, develop, deliver and sustain medical capabilities for Service Members throughout the world, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command was under the umbrella of the U.S. Army Medical Command until October 2018, at which time the USAMRMC began reporting directly to the U.S. Army Materiel Command.