Major General Michael J. Talley
U.S. Army Medical Research & Development Command Fort Detrick
Michael J. Talley enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983 and served for six years before being discharged. But he went back into the service in 1991 after he earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at El Paso. Since then, now Major General Talley has served in a variety of command and staff assignments, served combat tours in Iraq, and won a handful of awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Talley is now commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research & Development Command and Fort Detrick, which is responsible for medical research, development and acquisition for the Army.
As a platoon leader many years ago, Talley learned how his decisions could directly impact his fellow soldiers.
“It hits you pretty hard when lives are in the balance and you are dealing with the safety, training, health and welfare of soldiers and their families,” he said, when asked about being a leader.
During the pandemic, Talley said, his command has played an important role in developing counter-measures and vaccines.
“This type of research and development is why the USAMRDC was established,” he said. “As their leader during the COVID-19 pandemic, I relied on my ability to sustain the relationships within the organization and galvanize the staff to responsibly put their expertise into play.
“I gave the senior leaders around me a wide lane to use their skill to leverage the full power of the USAMRDC to detect, treat and prevent the virus. It was really just a matter of igniting the team and empowering them to do what they do best.”