Back to Top Skip to main content

One Airman’s Life of Service – in and out of uniform

Man wearing mask checking inventory on shelves Mr. Michael Ende, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System inventory manager, checks inventory of supplies in the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, July 8, 2020. Ende serves as a civilian contractor with AFMES maintaining the inventory of all laboratory and chemical supplies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

Service members can face a myriad of challenges, but what happens when the service member is also the civilian?

Michael Ende splits his time as the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System inventory manager at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and as a technical sergeant with the 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as a flying crew chief.

“I have worked in the AFMES building since 2011, working as a construction worker, janitor and shipping and receiving clerk,” said Ende. “For the past five years, I have worked in the forensic toxicology division as an inventory manager maintaining the inventory for all the laboratory supplies and chemicals within the division.”

Ende’s tasks also include writing and completing orders for basic laboratory supplies, chemicals and all small equipment needed for the laboratory as well as assisting with the $4.5 million budget for contracts and supplies for the division.

Ende said his military journey started more than a decade ago.

“I joined the military in 1996 in the U.S. Army Reserves as a quartermaster officer for nine years,” said Ende. “I served as a petroleum platoon leader, a warehouse platoon leader, an executive officer and company commander till 2003.”

Following his time in the Army Reserve, Ende worked various retail jobs before moving to Delaware in 2010.

Soldier checking flight equipment
Tech. Sgt. Michael Ende, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief, conducts a pre-flight inspection of a C-5M Super Galaxy’s landing gear at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, July 12, 2020. As a flying crew chief, Ende supports moving supplies, equipment and personnel all around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

“I took a temporary construction job as a construction worker which just happened to be on the new AFMES building,” said Ende. “Once the building was near completion I was hired on by a janitorial service company to clean the new AFMES building.”

Ende joined the Air Force Reserves in 2011 for technical training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. There he had to adjust from being a first lieutenant to being an airman first class. Upon completion, Ende was assigned to the 512th AW and also hired by AFMES in the logistics department.

“I missed the military, but didn’t want to go in the Army again,” said Ende. “My younger brother had been in the Air Force for 15 years at this point and was a crew chief for the 436th [Airlift Wing] so I knew what I was getting myself into.”

As a flying crew chief with the 512th AMXS, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ende works on the flightline launching C-5M Super Galaxies and performing general maintenance and inspections to keep the 500,000 pound aircraft flying.

“We support moving supplies, equipment and personnel all around the world,” said Ende. “I have personally been on 21 missions which has taken me all over the United States and to 14 countries.”

Service members who not only serve their country but also have full time jobs in the civilian sector are still required to maintain the same level of training and skill proficiency as their active duty counterparts.

“I work really hard to ensure I give 100 percent at both jobs because I don’t want one job to suffer because of the other,” said Ende. “The Air Force can take me away from my job at AFMES for about three to seven days at a time.”

Due to this challenge, Ende says he plans ahead to close any open taskers and prevent more work for others. He added, it takes communication and dedication to be excellent in both jobs.

“I know he has never missed any deadlines and always keeps abreast of any changes regarding his duties with the 512th,” said April Higgins, AFMES SNA/PAE Contractor program manager. “The entire team supports Mr. Ende with his responsibilities, whether it is having someone cover his duties if he is on orders or if it is me communicating to the Contracting Officer Representative and Division Chief of Toxicology his status regarding his responsibilities, we support him 100 percent.”

Higgins, said Ende does a great job balancing his responsibilities with AFMES as well as the 512th AW.

“Mr. Ende is a true professional and I am honored to have him on our team,” said Higgins. “He embodies the Air Force core values and we are fortunate to have him as a part of the AFMES team while he is serving his country in the Reserves.”

Higgins said she enjoys having the added diversity on the team.

“Mr. Ende’s perspective is different than that of someone who has never served in the military,” she said. “He can tie the AFMES mission together with the mission of the Armed Forces, specifically the Air Force. It is important to see those links and how his job as a contractor and a Reservist affect the Armed Forces as a whole.”

Ende said he wouldn’t change a thing about his dual life.

“I enjoy having jobs in both worlds – the civilian sector and the military sector,” said Ende. “Where in the Air Force can you in one week be on a counter narcotics mission, the next a Presidential support mission, then picking up soldiers and their equipment in Iraq to come home to their families and loved ones all while supporting a civilian job back home. I can’t think of anything better than supporting both roles.”

You also may be interested in...

DoD makes plans to combat Coronavirus

Article
3/4/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speak to reporters at the Pentagon, March 2, 2020. (DoD photo Lisa Ferdinando)

The number one priority remains to protect our forces and their families

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

First female takes command as AFMES director

Article
2/28/2020
Air Force Lt. Col. Alice Briones, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System deputy director, has been named director of AFMES, effective February 21, 2020, making Briones the first female director. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency director, selected Briones after she served as deputy director of AFMES since April 2017.

Briones enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Combat Medic in 1990

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

AFRSSIR Supply Order Request

Form/Template
2/12/2020

Fill out this request to place and order with the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Sample for the Identification of Human Remains

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner | DoD DNA Operations | Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains

Guidelines for the Collection and Shipment of Toxicology Specimens

Publication
2/11/2020

This document describes the processes to follow when submitting toxicology specimens

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Forensic Toxicology

Moments in Military Medicine: Blood Donations on the Battlefield

Video
2/4/2020
Moments in Military History

Since January was National Blood Donor Month, learn more about the history of blood donations on the battlefield and the incredible work of the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP).

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Medical History

DMRTI JOP Nomination Form

Form/Template
1/30/2020

Nomination form for JMOC, JMPT, and JHOC

Recommended Content:

Joint Humanitarian Operations Course (JHOC) | Joint Medical Operations Course | Joint Medical Planning Tool Course | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Combat Support | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Joint Humanitarian Operations Course (JHOC) | Joint Medical Operations Course | Joint Medical Planning Tool Course

CBD oil off limits for service members

Article
1/23/2020
A service member checks the label on a supplement. Service members must remain diligent and check labels on consumer products and follow official guidance on CBD products. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

The use of CBD products is prohibited for use by service members

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Substance Abuse

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

Combat Support Role of DHA unique within DoD

Article
12/30/2019
Okinawa, Japan (June 7, 2019) Hospital corpsmen respond to a simulated patient casualty during a tactical combat casualty care exercise as part of a rigorous Jungle Medicine Course at Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan. The 10-day course trains Navy medical personnel assigned to Marine forces on jungle survival skills, patient tracking, field medical care, and casualty evacuation techniques. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

“… laser-focused on advancing readiness and supporting the warfighter”

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

New way of teaching service members how to treat combat wounds vetted at Fort Benning

Article
12/10/2019
Inside Fort Benning’s Medical Simulation Training Center, medics and other experts from across the armed services practice treating “junctional” wounds, those at points where limbs connect to the human torso. The medics were part of a group of about 40 service member and civilians who gathered at Fort Benning to do a close review of a new curriculum that will be used to teach service members a type of battlefield first aid that the U.S. military calls Tier 2 Tactical Combat Casualty Care. (Photo by Markeith Horace)

Tactical Combat Casualty Care is geared to training service members in the best methods for giving medical care to the wounded in the first critical minutes before they can be taken to a hospital.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Network of researchers advancing warfighter readiness

Article
12/4/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, the assistant director for Combat Support at DHA, delivered the keynote address at the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Scientific and Programmatic Advancement Meeting, GSPAM. He emphasized the importance of Force Health Protection measures and linked the GEIS mission to DHA’s combat support mission. (DoD photo)

In fiscal year 2020, GEIS awarded approximately $60 million to more than 20 DoD laboratories and U.S. government partners

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Global Health Engagement | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance

DoD adds fentanyl to drug testing panel

Article
11/22/2019
An Airman from the 436th Air Wing inspects a bottle before being asked to provide a urine sample November 8, 2019. The DoD has a zero tolerance policy for the illegal or improper use of drugs by service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Fentanyl is an opioid, similar to heroin

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse | Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

International medics tackle Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
9/23/2019
Air Force students provide cover while pulling a ‘wounded’ training mannequin out of simulated line-of-fire during the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Battlefield simulation drills are vital to provide medics and combat personnel with realistic situations where they provide life-saving care and evacuation of wounded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

TCCC has become the new standard of medical training proficiency for military personnel

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

Supporting the warfighter of today with innovation of tomorrow

Article
8/22/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director of DHA's Combat Support Agency, moderates a panel presentation on Wednesday, August 21 at MHSRS. (MHS photo)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Payne, panelists describe Defense Health Agency combat support role

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DHA plus DLA equals one joint approach for health care logistics

Article
8/20/2019
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, DHA director (left), and Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, DLA director (right) signed a memorandum of agreement on Aug. 15, at Defense Health Headquarters. The agreement clarifies the agencies' complementary roles and responsibilities, avoiding duplication of effort while retaining DLA as DHA's acquisition enabler of choice for medical materiel. (MHS photo)

Agency directors sign memorandum of agreement

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Medical Logistics
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.