Charter Class Interviews

Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2)

ADM Contact

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Md. 20814
Cmd. Sgt. Major (Ret)
(301) 295-3198
Gustavo Ruiz
(301) 295-9204
Jennifer Aguilar
(301) 319-0590

Charter Class Interviews

The Enlisted to Medical Degree Program is a partnership between the Uniformed Services University (USU) and the Armed Services to provide a new opportunity for highly motivated, academically promising enlisted service members to complete the necessary coursework to qualify for medical school application. USU funds tuition and associated academic costs while servicemen maintain active duty status. The program supports USU strategic objective to increase matriculation from the Armed Services enlisted as a significant initiative for student diversity. Its designed to select candidates who demonstrate integrity, are passionate about service in harm’s way, and are dedicated to becoming future clinicians, leaders and scholars of the Nation's medical force.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richter

Josh RichterArmy Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richter is the designated Class Leader for EMDP2 Class 01-2014. He hails from St. Charles, Illinois and graduated from St Charles High School, Illinois in 1999. He enlisted in 2001 for the Airborne Infantry (11B), and was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was trained and certified as an Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate (EMT-I) in 2003 and cross-trained to also serve as a team medic. He subsequently assessed and was selected to serve in the elite special operations community as a Team member. During his tenure with the Special Operations Command, he completed Arabic language training and is proficient in the Levantine dialect. Sgt. 1st Class Richter graduated on the Commandant’s List at the Maneuver Senior Leader Course, as well as the Primary Leadership Development Course. Most recently, he was assigned as an operations noncommissioned officer at the Special Operations Command. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Strategic Studies and Defense from Norwich University in 2014. Sgt. First Class Richter has spent over 31 months deployed to combat zones, and has had the honor of serving among the ranks of the finest American Soldiers throughout the world. The EMDP2 is a dream come true that allows him to combine his commitment to service with his passion for medicine, and he looks forward to the opportunity of serving patients and the Nation as a physician and Army officer.

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Army Staff Sgt. Alex Blereau

Alex BlereauArmy Staff Sgt. Claude "Alex" Blereau hails from Scottsdale, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Army as a Combat Medic (68W) in 2006 at age 22 after working as an emergency medical technician basic (EMT-B) in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He completed advanced individual training as an honor graduate and was then assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. After a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan, he reenlisted for the Special Operations Combat Medic Course which he completed as Distinguished Honor Graduate. He was then assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College in 2013. The EMDP2 allows Staff Sgt. Blereau to pursue two of his greatest passions: soldiering and medicine.

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Army Sgt. Stephen Capen

Stephen CapenArmy Sgt. Stephen Capen was born in Hawaii, but calls Colorado Springs home. He graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2005 then attended the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. He enlisted as a Healthcare Specialist (68W) in 2010 after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry in 2009. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington was his first and only duty station where was assigned to the 575th Area Support Medical Company, 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade. He was selected as the I Corps Soldier of the Year, and graduated from the Warrior Leader Course on the Commandant’s List. Upon completion of the EMDP2 and medical school, SGT Capen expects to be assigned to a deployable unit to serve as the primary care provider for Soldiers.
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Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kenny Johnson

Kenny JohnsonAir Force Tech. Sgt. Kenny Johnson is the son of a career Air Force noncommissioned officer and recruiter. He hails from everywhere, but graduated from high school in Houston, Texas. In 2005 at age 19, he enlisted as a Medical Laboratory Technician (4T051). He graduated as Honor Graduate from Basic Training, and Distinguished Graduate from Technical School Phase I and II, as well as Airmen Leadership School where he also earned the Leadership Award. He has earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in Health Sciences (2012) as well as Management (2013). He has been assigned to the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force base, Ohio where his most recent duty was noncommissioned officer in charge of the virology department. Tech. Sgt. Johnson wants to use EMDP2 to take on more responsibility within the health system.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Little

Matt LittleAir Force Staff Sgt. Matt Little is from Spokane, Washington. After graduation from White River High School in Buckley, WA, he went to college for two years and became involved in his local fire department to include becoming a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He enlisted in 2010, and trained as a Contracting Specialist (6C051) at Lackland, Air Force Base, Texas where he was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate. He was then assigned to the Headquarters Air Force District of Washington Contracting Directorate, Joint Base Andrews, Md. He completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from University of Maryland – University College in 2013. Staff Sgt. Little hopes the EMDP2 provides him the opportunity to give back to the Air Force.
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Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Mears

Jeremy MearsAir Force Tech. Sgt. Charles "Jeremy" Mears graduated from Salisbury High School in Salisbury, North Carolina in 2001. He enlisted for training as an Aerospace Medical Technician (4N0X1) in 2004. After graduation, he was assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC from where he deployed to Balad, Iraq. He then attended the Independent Duty Medical Technician (IDMT) Course, finishing as Distinguished Graduate. In 2011 he became one of only ten IDMTs qualified in the Air Force to perform helicopter civilian search and rescue. He completed a Bachelor of Science Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Health Care Management from TUI University in 2011. His most recent assignment was Headquarters 336th Training Group, Air Education and Training Command, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Tech. Sgt. Mears has always wanted to be a physician and with EMDP2 that dream can become a reality.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Joe Merfeld

Joe MerfeldAir Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Merfeld was born in Chicago and graduated from Altheia Christian Academy in Pensacola in 2000. He completed a B.A. Degree (Cum Laude) in Criminal Justice before enlisting in 2009 as an Avionics Maintenance Technician (2A553C). After completing technical training as a Distinguished Graduate he was assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri where he was selected for the Air Force Lt Gen Leo Marquez Maintenance Excellence Award. After many accolades in maintenance, Staff Sgt. Merfeld applied for retraining as a Manpower Analyst (3S333). His most recent assignment was to the 19th Force Support Squadron as a Manpower Analyst. The EMDP2 affords him the chance to fulfill a lifelong pursuit of becoming a doctor while serving his country and supporting his family.

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Army Sgt. 1st Class Steve Radloff


Steve RadloffSgt. 1st Class Steve Radloff was born in Waukegan, Illinois, and graduated from high school there. He enlisted in 2000 on his 17th birthday for training as an Airborne Infantry Soldier (11B). By his 21st birthday he had decided to change his specialty to medicine. After retraining as a Special Forces Medical Operations Sergeant (18D), he was assigned to Fort Bragg, NC. He has served in the 3rd Special Forces Group through four deployments of which three were combat rotations. When he attended the Senior Leadership Course, he was selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Health Science from Kaplan University in 2013. His most recent assignment was noncommissioned officer in charge of the Special Operations Combat Medic Course. EMDP2 gives Sgt. 1st Class Radloff the opportunity to broaden his scope and better serve his passions: helping people, learning and mentoring. Watch the video.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lindsay Slimski

Lindsay SlimskiAir Force Tech. Sgt. Lindsay Slimski is from Crete, Illinois, and graduated from Crete-Monee High School. After completing a year of college, she enlisted in the Air Force in 2005 as an Air Traffic Controller (1C171). Her first duty assignment was to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada where she earned honors including Air Traffic Controller of the Year. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Cum Laude) in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. Her last assignment was Quality Assurance Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Foreign TERPS for Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii where she earned Noncommissioned Officer of the Year twice. Tech. Sgt. Slimski considers the medical profession to be her calling, and the EMDP2 will allow her to make a difference in the health of those who serve.

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Army Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Villarreal

Jesus VillarrealArmy Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Villarreal was born in Orland, California and graduated from Orland High School. He enlisted at age 17 for training as a Cavalry Scout (19D). After eight years at Fort Hood, during which he served three 12-month combat rotations to Iraq, he was selected for drill instructor training. Following his tour of duty as a drill instructor, he was reassigned to Vilseck, Germany, from where he deployed for a nine-month tour to Afghanistan. He graduated on the Commandant’s List at the Maneuver Senior Leader Course, as well as the Primary Leadership Development Course. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) as well as Master of Art Degree in Criminal Justice. Sg.t 1st Class Villarreal’s most recent assignment was platoon sergeant, Nemesis Troop, 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, Rose Barracks, Germany. He is passionate about a career in medicine and is grateful for the opportunity to achieve that through the EMDP2.

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