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NHC Corpus Christi CO inducted into elite Army Medicine fraternal organization
Story by William Love on 02/20/2019
By Bill W. Love, NHC Corpus Christi Public Affairs
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Feb. 20, 2019) — A Navy surgeon in South Texas got the surprise of his 25-year military career Feb. 7, 2019.
Maj. Gen. Patrick D. Sargent, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School, Health Readiness Center of Excellence (AMEDDC&S) at Joint Base San Antonio presented the Order of Military Medical Merit, or O2M3, to Capt. Miguel A. Cubano, commanding officer, NHC Corpus Christi.
Cubano happened to be visiting his San Antonio Detachment at JBSA.
The general’s office maintained secrecy by contacting Cubano under the guise of the general wanting a brief social visit. Both men share an enthusiasm for aviation and are qualified pilots. Plus, Cubano believed that Sargent wanted to convey how well-received the book, 2018 edition of Emergency War Surgery, has been, and discuss its value towards training and readiness. Cubano is the Chair of the Editorial Board and Senior Medical Editor.
“So when I arrived at the general’s office it was very surprising, I was shocked because I am also aware of the magnitude of the award. They really got me by surprise,” explained Cubano.
The O2M3 recognizes men and women who have clearly demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, and have made exceptional contributions to the AMEDD.
Cubano, a surgeon in the Navy Medical Corps, is not a typical recipient, however.
Although more than 12,000 individuals have been inducted into the Order since its founding in 1982, Cubano is one of less than 300 who are not directly affiliated with the Army, and thus are granted honorary membership.
According to the Order’s President, Richard L. Ursone, Brig. Gen., U.S. Army Retired, these select individuals are generally considered to be in the top 10 percent of their Corps and field.
“I’ve been working with the Army institutions for more than 10 years, that’s part of the criteria. So this was not only about the book,” explained Cubano.
In 2007, Cubano was chosen to lead the Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center at Landstuhl, Germany, and in 2008 he became the first naval officer to hold the position of U.S. Southern Command Surgeon, an assignment where he helped orchestrate humanitarian operations Continuing Promise and Unified Response.
In 2010, he served as deputy commander for the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute in San Antonio, Texas and was selected in 2012 to serve as medical director of the TRICARE Area Office Pacific in Okinawa, Japan. There he ensured the care of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in that region.
More recently, Cubano arranged a major joint training initiative for his Navy hospital corpsmen in cooperation with AMEDD.
During a visit to NHC Corpus Christi by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, Brooke Army Medical Center commanding general on Aug. 16, 2017, Cubano discussed his idea for getting corpsmen practical experience at a Level I trauma center.
Johnson was receptive to Cubano’s ideas and suggested that the corpsmen obtain their hands-on training in San Antonio.
On Oct. 18, 2017, the first Sailor in the Army’s 68W Utilization Program, was awarded the silver badge. That program concentrates on readiness, allowing medics to practice the necessary skills required to maintain their core competencies in preparation for being forward-deployed.
“Being able to coordinate a major joint readiness project with BAMC, to have our corpsmen participate in the 68W was a real success,” said Cubano. “And it didn’t take a Memorandum of Understanding. All it took was a handshake! And that’s important because it’s easy to forget how effective a strong and honorable handshake can be.”
NHC Corpus Christi and its Naval Branch Health Clinic Fort Worth (NBHCFW) and Naval Branch Health Clinic Kingsville (NBHCK) provide ambulatory care services to over 13,000 enrolled beneficiaries comprised of military active duty, their family members, retirees and their family members in South Texas and Dallas/Fort Worth. In addition, Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi San Antonio Detachment (NHC Corpus Christi SA DET) provides primary care services to our Navy students at the Medical Education & Training Campus (METC) at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, and case management services and medical board management to our Navy and Marine Corps Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors (WII) at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC).