JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
A Soldier serving with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division has been inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit.
Lt. Col. Ken Bria, officer-in-charge of the 99th RD’s Soldier Readiness Improvement Program, received the honor during a ceremony held at the Joint Readiness Center here.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to do this and share this with my family, it’s a great honor,” Bria said to the Soldiers, civilians and family members attending the ceremony. “I share this with all of you, it’s a reflection on all of us.”
According to the organizations website, the Order of Military Medical Merit is a 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.
“There are certain awards that have a broader perspective and have to do with specific regimental organizations or specific functions within the military,” explained Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer, 99th RD commanding general. “This is an award given to someone who has spent a career in the medical field.”
Membership in the Order denotes distinguished service, which is recognized by the senior leadership of the Army Medical Department.
“This is a very prestigious award,” said Col. Mitchell Paulin, 99th RD command surgeon. “We all strive for recognition, but more importantly we all strive to care for Soldiers.”
Bria has been caring for Soldiers his entire 36-year Army career, starting as an operating room technician before becoming a commissioned officer in the Medical Corps. For the past four years, he has developed the SRIP, a pilot program initiated by the 99th RD to take care of Soldiers and units in deployed support of Army missions around the globe.
“There are definitely a lot of sacrifices we all made to do this,” Bria said. “We all do this because we care about Soldiers.”