By: Melissa Miller, USAMRMC Public Affairs
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command will say a temporary "goodbye" to Clifford Wendel, director of the USAMRMC Surety, Safety and Environmental Office July 1. He will leave for a one-year deployment to Kandahar Air Force Base in Afghanistan and become a member of the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce.
The U.S. Department of Defense Civilian Expeditionary Workforce offers select individuals a unique opportunity to make tangible differences through contingency operations positions. As a member of the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce, Wendel will be among a select group of Americas who help to promote security and stability worldwide.
For 12 months, Wendel will serve as the senior Safety Consultant to the USFOR-A Regional Command South Mission/Installation Commander, with the responsibility of providing program direction and leadership to the integrated safety office staff as well as ensuring synchronization of the overall safety program initiatives, goals, and objectives.
"I'll be supervising, as well as doing action investigations, safety promotions, training composite risk management, and much more," explained Wendel.
"I'm very excited! It's going to be great opportunity," said Wendel. "This has been a 2 month process so I'm getting really anxious to go," said Wendel, "I'm just waiting to start the experience."
There is a careful selection process in place for Civilian Expeditionary Workforce applicants. Through the Secretary of Defense, the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce manages all types of civilian job openings in theater. Job requirements for each civilian position are determined by those already in theater, then those job positions are advertised through the CEW website.
"Plus, a large portion is word-of-mouth from people that are actually on-site," said Wendel.
One year is a long time to be away from home, however, Wendel has received nothing but support from family in friends in wake of this opportunity.
"My wife is very supportive," said Wendel. "We are at a point now where our kids are grown. Plus, we have a daughter, husband and two grandkids living with us right now, so my wife won't be alone while I'm gone."
Wendel will arrive at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburgh, Indiana, on 1 July where he will undergo five days of pre-deployment training. He will depart to Kuwait on 6 July before finally reaching his destination at Kandahar Airfield, an Air Force base in the southeastern portion of Afghanistan made up of over 30,000 military, civilian and contractor employees.
"The outpouring of support, true support, and concern from the General on down has been overwhelming," said Wendel. "I am amazed at the number of people that have come out to say 'be safe,' 'we're thinking of you,' 'if you need anything we're here,'. the support from the USAMRMC family has been fantastic." For more information on the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce opportunities visit www.cpms.osd.mil/expeditionary/.