Fort Detrick

MDG SNCOs tops AFMS' 2016 awards

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Story by SSgt Areca T. Bell on 02/23/2017
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.--Not one, but two Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia were the recipients of top honors for their work in support of the Air Force's mission, for the year 2016.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Curtis Miller, 633rd Medical Support Squadron superintendent, was presented the U.S. Air Force Organizational Management Excellence Award, while Senior Master Sgt. Ellwood Tegtmeier, 633rd Inpatient Operations Squadron superintendent, earned the U.S. Air Force Senior NCO Clinical Support Excellence Award.

In addition to their job performance, both Miller and Tegtmeier were judged on their ability to develop their people, self-improvement and their work within the local community and base populace, which was no easy feat.

As the superintendent of the 633rd MDSS, Miller's job entails overseeing and mentoring nine flights and deploying 633rd MDG members. He is also part of the Global Response Force; whose past work includes Ebola treatment in Africa and humanitarian work in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Miller also serves as functional manager for biomedical maintenance technicians for Air Combat Command. Additionally, he oversees the Air Force's largest medical pilot and contingency department called War Reserve Material.

"My job is very high paced, it averages from 12 to 14-hour days," said Miller. "I do a lot of interaction with Fort Detrick, Air Staff and our ACC counterparts across base. I also have 382 troops here that I am responsible for guiding the development of. We also do all of the field testing and next generation testing for our Expeditionary Medical Support System."

Tegtmeier's job tempo shows no sign of slowing down either, being the primary advisor to the commander. He too plays a key role in the development and guidance of the Airmen under his watch. He oversees the busiest birthing unit of the Air Force and also the only Air Force Level Two Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. According to Tegtmeier, the biggest challenge of his job is keeping the Labor and Delivery Section, which boasts 1,200 births per year, running smoothly. Tegtmeier and his team often move items around to keep newborns and their mothers in the Labor and Delivery Section and to keep the Labor and Delivery Section open. In addition to these duties, Tegtmeier also serves as the functional manager for radiologic technologists across ACC.

Although these senior NCOs recognize their awards are great achievements, they acknowledge that they could not have done it alone.

"When I found out I was nominated for the award I was excited because my team had brought me there," said Miller. "Not because of what I had done, but because the contributions I am providing are meaningful, they have impact and they are coming to fruitionnothing is dying in the water. The pride came from all of that.

With the many responsibilities that come with the various duty titles held by Miller and Tegtmeier, they continue to drive themselves to carry out the mission.

"I think the biggest thing I love about my job is leading Airmen," said Tegtmeier. "I'm passionate about it more so now than ever before, probably because I realized that my time is now very limited and that I only have a certain amount of time to pass on what is so freely given to me by the leaders that came before me. I think the best way we can show respect for those who came before us is to pass it on to those coming up behind us."

Miller and Tegtmeier's work ethic does not go unnoticed by their leadership and coworkers. Chief Master Sgt. Richard Burgos, 633rd MDG superintendent, expressed his appreciation for their dedication to the mission.

"I like to consider them both pit bullsyou let them of the leash to attack problems then they come back and give you the thumbs up that everything is good," Burgos explained. "Both of them care about the people and like to keep the commander out of trouble. Having them on the team makes my job easier because I have the confidence in them to lead Airmen, and to me that is key."

Miller and Tegtmeier are proud of their accomplishments and hope to continue to contribute to the mission of providing trusted care to Team Langley and beyond.

"I don't really want this to end. I'm looking forward to hopefully putting on that next rank, so that I can continue to serve in the Air Force," said Tegtmeier. "I love working in the medical field because we get to help people. So, just as much as I am passionate about to leading Airmen, I get to go home and hang my hat on the fact that I was also successful in helping others with their specific health care needs."

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