Honoring the 2021 Heroes of Military Medicine

The novel coronavirus, Sars-COV-2, swept across the globe in early 2020. Military, industry, private and public institutions, and individuals, all responded to the resulting COVID-19 pandemic. From donations of personal protective equipment to round-the-clock research support, the unprecedented impact on global life was met with an equally robust response. The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) honors individuals and organizations involved in this response at its annual Heroes of Military Medicine awards ceremony. With the support of the Chairman Sponsor, Health Net Federal Services, HJF recognizes individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in advancing medicine for our nation’s warfighters, veterans and civilians. 

The Heroes of Military Medicine logo

This year, 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley will deliver the keynote address honoring the work of those combating COVID-19. 

Because of the pandemic, last year’s Heroes of Military Medicine event was cancelled. This year the event will be a hybrid in-person and live-streamed presentation. Only awardees and program participants will attend in person, and the event will be live-streamed for all other guests. 

The 2021 Heroes of Military Medicine Award Honorees are listed below:

The Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Award is presented to the multiple companies that accomplished the herculean feat of creating, manufacturing, and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year. 

The Hero of Military Medicine Senior Leader Award is presented to General Gustave F. Perna of the U.S. Army. On 2 July 2020, General Gustave F. Perna was confirmed as Chief Operating Officer for Operation Warp Speed, now known as the Countermeasures Acceleration Group. In this position, he co-leads the partnership to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. 

The Heroes of Military Medicine Honorees are:

Army: Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Colacicco-Mayhugh 

Air Force: Lieutenant Colonel Patrick W. Kennedy

Navy: Lieutenant Commander (Doctor) Matthew Hall 


“Military medicine has been on the front lines of the response to this global pandemic,” said HJF President and CEO Joseph Caravalho, M.D. “From the infectious disease work undertaken by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to the therapeutics being developed by researchers at the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the United States has been burning the midnight oil to combat this invisible, but deadly, foe. It is with great humility and respect that HJF presents the 2021 Heroes of Military Medicine Awards to these outstanding individuals and organizations.”

Each year, three of the five awards are presented to military medical professionals from the Army, Navy and Air Force, with nominations for the three awards coming from the Office of the Surgeon General for each Service. Additionally, one honoree receives the Military Medicine Ambassador Award and another receives the Senior Leader Award.

More information about each of this year’s award recipients can be found at


About HJF
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is a global nonprofit that administers more than $500 million in medical research funds annually. For more than 37 years, HJF has partnered with researchers and clinicians to provide bench to bedside to battlefield research support. More than 3,000 HJF teammates ensure HJF is a trusted and responsive partner by providing scientific, administrative and program operations services to researchers in the military, academia and private industry. For more information, visit