Colonel Paul J. Kassebaum, Commander
Colonel Paul J. Kassebaum is a 2003 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. He received a direct commission into the United States Army as a Pharmacy Officer (67E) in the Medical Service Corps in August 2003.
Upon completion of the Army Medical Department Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he completed his pharmacy practice residency. Following the residency, he completed assignments of increasing complexity and responsibility within pharmacies at Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Fort Knox, Kentucky. During his assignment to Fort Leonard Wood in 2009, he deployed with the 47th Combat Support Hospital to Mosul, Iraq, where he completed a 10-month tour as the Chief, Pharmacy Services. He earned board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2005.
From 2014-2016 he completed a broadening assignment at Human Resources Command where he served as Assignment Officer for 67E/F/G & 71A/B/E/F officers. From there he was assigned to MAMC at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as Chief, Department of Pharmacy. Colonel Kassebaum commanded the Fort Lee Medical Department Activity and Kenner Army Health Clinic from 2017-2019. He is grateful to have had the privilege of leading nearly 500 staff in their mission to enhance Soldier and medical force readiness through the delivery of exceptional and compassionate patient-centered care to the Fort Lee community. His most recent assignment was Chief, Department of Pharmacy at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and Regional Health Command Europe Pharmacy Consultant.
Colonel Kassebaum is a graduate of Captain’s Career Course, Intermediate Level Education, Defense Strategy Course, and Army War College. He earned a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Policy and Outcomes from the University of Florida and Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
Colonel Kassebaum’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Meritorious Unit Citation (one oak leaf cluster), Superior Unit Award (two oak leaf clusters), Iraq Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 2), Expert Field Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.
SFC Joshua S. Strauss, Senior Enlisted Leader
Sergeant First Class Strauss is a native of Washington State and a graduate of the George Washington University where he holds an Associate's degree in Medical Laboratory Science. He enlisted in the United States Army in September 2009.
He most recently served as the Enlisted Subject Matter Expert (ESME) and Senior Training Developer for MOS 68K at the United States Army Medical Center of Excellence.
He has served in diverse positions throughout his military career from Medical Company Team and Squad Leader to Medical Detachment (Blood Support) Detachment Sergeant. From 2017-2019 he served as a platform instructor at the Medical Education and Training Campus, Joint-Base San Antonio, Ft. Sam Houston, TX.
He completed one Operation Enduring Freedom combat tour and one humanitarian assistance tour in support of Operation United Assistance in the AFRICOM theater. He has served with the 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Medical Brigade, 86th Combat Support Hospital, 32nd Medical Brigade, and the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence.
Sergeant First Class Strauss is a graduate of the Warrior Leader Course, the Army Medical Department Advanced Leader Course, the Army Medical Department Senior Leader Course, and the Master Leader Course. He is a nationally certified Medical Laboratory Technician with the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC); the Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC); the Army Achievement Medal (1 SOLC); National Defense Service Medal; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (number 4), the Armed Forces Service Medal; the Army Service Ribbon, and the Non - Article 5 NATO Medal. He also wears the Expert Field Medic Badge, and the U.S. Army Senior Instructor Identification Badge.
LTC Mariano T. Mesngon, Jr., Deputy Commander
Lieutenant Colonel Mariano T. Mesngon, Jr., is a graduate of the University of Guam ROTC program. He originally commissioned into the Army Ordnance Corps in June 1997 but left active duty in 2002 to attend graduate school full-time and pursue his Ph.D. He returned to active duty as a Medical Service Corps officer in 2008.
LTC Mesngon assumed duties as the Deputy Commander, US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense in January 2022. Prior to that he served as the Commander, 4-393 Training Support Battalion from January 2020 to January 2022. From July 2018 to November 2019, he served as a Joint Product Manager, Joint Project Manager-CBRN Medical. LTC Mesngon deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from November 2013 to June 2014 as the Chief of Admin and Operations, Command Surgeon Cell, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. LTC Mesngon was also a Synchronization Staff Officer in the HQDA DCS G-8. Prior to that he held various AMEDD acquisition, research, development, test, and evaluation leadership positions.
As an Ordnance officer, he served as a platoon leader, company XO, operations officer, and shop officer in the 71st Corps Support BN in Bamberg, Germany. He commanded B Company, 187 Ordnance Battalion in Fort Jackson, SC.
LTC Mesngon is a graduate of the Ordnance Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Captains Career Course (CLC3), Combined Arms Services Staff School, and the Army Command and General Staff Officer’s Course. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in biology and is DoD Acquisition Level 2 certified in Program Management and Science & Technology Management.
LTC Mesngon’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 OLC), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 OLC), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC), and the Army Staff Identification Badge. LTC Mesngon is an Honorable Member in the Order of the Dragon and a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.
James F. Dillman, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer
Dr. James F. Dillman III is currently the Chief Science Officer at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. He serves as the Senior Civilian Scientist and oversees a program focused on the research and development of medical countermeasures against chemical and biochemical threats as well as training and education in the management of chemical casualties. He serves as the Command advisor for scientific and research matters related to medical chemical defense.
He served previously as the Director of Research, the Chief of the Science Program Analysis and Integration Office and was a principal investigator in the Cell and Molecular Biology Branch at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. As a principal investigator, Dr. Dillman oversaw a research group focused on the development of medical countermeasures to chemical warfare agents. His research group utilized transcriptomics, proteomics and molecular approaches to define the molecular and cellular consequences of chemical warfare agent exposure with the goal of identifying therapeutic targets for development of toxicant medical countermeasures.
Dr. Dillman received a B.S. with honors in biology from Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Virginia. He was awarded post-doctoral fellowships from the National Stroke Association and the National Institutes of Health during his time as a research fellow in the Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He joined the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense as a National Research Council Research Associate and subsequently came on staff as a principal investigator in the Applied Pharmacology Branch at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense.