DUSTOFF Crewmember of the Year
In what was again a superb competition, the DUSTOFF Crewmember - 2000 was selected by the Association's Executive Council. The candidates were a mirror of the diversity that is AMEDD aviation. Four of the candidates were from active component units, and one was from the reserves. Three represented CONUS-based units, and two were from overseas areas. Three were flight medics, and two were crew
chiefs. Selected as the DUSTOFF Crewmember of the Year was Sergeant Glenn E. Fryer, 236TH Medical Company (AA), Landstuhl, Germany, who was eloquently recommended by his commander, MAJ Jon Fristoe. Sgt Fryer is a UH-60 helicopter repairman who takes the lead in the administration of emergency and routine treatment of patients in an international helicopter medical evacuation (medevac) unit. While
his duties primarily involve superior maintenance and crew coordination as a crew chief, SGT Fryer has set himself apart from his peers with his vast medical knowledge and patient care during numerous deployments and missions. Among his superb efforts, he has:
- Deployed a total of twelve months to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995 with his FSMT as part of the initial implementation forces. During this deployment, he served as a member of nine crews and provided his valuable skills to each.
- Assisted with the training of over 1,600 implementation force (IFOR) soldiers in U.S. Army, medevac and external hoist operations. o Ensured absolute safety, during the fifteen missions and over 220 hazardous flight hours executed by the various crews of which he was a member. He served as one of four enlisted soldiers, selected because of his knowledge, to augment the follow-on unit for
continuity of the mission.
- Deployed again with the 236th Medical Company (AA) to Bosnia-Herzegovina, serving as the senior crew chief and flight platoon maintenance supervisor for eight aircraft positioned throughout the theater of operations. His superior maintenance and coordination abilities allowed the success of all high-priority urgent category missions during this deployment.
- Continued to serve as a crewmember and participated in over 180 hours of flight in the hostile fire zone. He was responsible for coordinating all in-flight activities for his battle-rostered crew and again assisted the flight medical aidman during the evacuation of ten patients. He personally rendered first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in-flight patient management on
- Deployed in support of the Kosovo peacekeeping forces as a part of Task Force Falcon, performing duties at both Camp Bondsteel and Camp Able Sentry. As part of the initial implementation forces, he initiated a maintenance program for two remotely located unit aircraft at Camp Able Sentry, Macedonia. He was responsible for training fourteen other crewmembers and maintaining their
proficiency in all flight-related tasks.
- Assisted with a total of fifteen urgent-category patient evacuations and performed 230 hours of incident-free flight time. He was instrumental in the safe and timely deployment and redeployment operations of all unit aircraft and personnel to and from the theater.
- Participated in a difficult hoist rescue operation under severe and extreme conditions. He and his crew attempted to rescue a Kosovo youth who had broken through and was lost in the water of an ice covered river. Although the medic suffered both physical and cold weather injuries from the crew's heroic endeavor. Sgt Fryer rendered immediate and exemplary medical care to all injuries to
his fellow crew member.
- Serves as an enlisted standardization flight instructor and trains thirty-two non-rated crewmembers in flight procedures, hoist operations, night vision flying and sling load operations.
- Has evacuated over 100 urgent patients, performed over 630 flight hours in hostile fire zones and achieved over 950 flight hours.
- Donates his free time to mentoring and guiding military dependent youth as an assistant coach to a post soccer and baseball team. He freely volunteers to assist with activities outside his military responsibilities.
- Supports international events and set himself apart by being awarded the German Expert Field Medical Badge for his knowledge of medical treatment.
Following are brief synopses of the achievements and qualifications of the other superb young men considered for this year's honor:
Staff Sergeant Patrick J. Caesar, 54th Medical Company (AA), Fort Lewis, Washington, nominated by his commander, Major Joseph B. House. SSG Caesar has, within one year:
- Deployed to Kuwait as NCOIC for a three-month deployment, Idaho, three field exercises, and six one-week rotations to the Yakima Firing Center.
- Been selected for Sergeant First Class, in a 19% selection rate of 91B promotions selectees.
- Been selected to serve as the flight platoon sergeant and has been hand selected as a flight instructor. o Recently received the Sikorsky Rescue Award.
- Is involved within the community, providing MEDEVAC procedures and rescue guideline instruction to area Washington search and rescue teams.
- Has been on several Army high school recruiting missions to the local Seattle, Washington area. o Is progressing toward his Bachelor of Science in biology.
Staff Sergeant Robert A. Fudge, 68th Medical Company (AA), Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, nominated by his commander, Major William B. Grimes. SSG Fudge has:
- Responded to thirteen MAST (Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic) missions, evacuating sixteen critical patients to nearby trauma facilities in support of the citizens of Hawaii and the city and county of Honolulu and eight MEDEVAC missions. On two missions he was awarded the Sikorsky Rescue Award for his valiant efforts. Both missions required using the high-performance rescue hoist
- Was selected to deploy to Alaska to train with our sister unit the 68th Medical Company (Alaska).
- Deployed with four aircrews to Thailand for a period of forty-five days, assuming duty every other day. One of the missions on which he flew resulted in another Sikorsky Rescue Award nomination.
Master Sergeant Rodolfo Hernandez, 1042nd Medical Company (AA), Salem, Oregon, nominated by his commander, Major Matthew J. Brady. Upon notification of the unit's deployment to support SFOR 7, SFC Hernandez spent numerous hours of his personal time assessing and planning a training program that would enable the unit to deploy with the maximum number of fully mission-capable crews. Upon deployment
on 15 February 2000, he had accomplished that difficult task. Additionally, he:
- Established relationships with both the Distance Learning Center and the medical staff of the 115th Field Hospital (Task Force Med Eagle) to ensure that all the flight medics in his platoon attended and successfully completed EMT, BCLS, and ACLS training.
- MSG Hernandez is a caring husband and father of two sons. He participates in their lives as a coach of little league baseball, basketball, soccer and the school PTA.
- He regularly volunteers to read to younger students and volunteers as a chaperone for activities at school. With his family always in his heart, he is never without the mission at the forefront of his mind.
Specialist Rafael Lopez, 498th Medical Company (AA), Fort Benning, Georgia, recommended by his commander, Major Kyle D. Campbell. Among other superb efforts, he:
- Routinely volunteered for the toughest assignments and deployments executed by the unit in the past 12 months. He began the year by preparing four UH-60s for Operation Bright Star 99/00 in Egypt. As a Private First Class at the time, he capitalized on his experience from his prior deployment to Central America on operation Fuerte Apoyo, where the unit provided critical aeromedical
evacuation coverage for the Hurricane Mitch relief efforts.
- Deployed on multiple temporary duty tours at Florida Ranger Camp at Eglin Air Force Base, Mountain Ranger Camp in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Fort Stewart, Georgia.
- Deployed over 216 days this past year. On one particular mission at Fort Stewart, his crew saved the life of a civilian who was involved in a head-on collision with a semi-truck. The entire crew was awarded the Sikorsky Rescue Award for their professional execution of the mission.
- Volunteered for Operation Purple Dragon, a large joint airborne training exercise in Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.