Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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

Image of 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...

Four-legged Major Brings Joy to Brooke Army Medical Center

Article Around MHS
6/23/2022
Labrador facility dogs at ceremony

Brooke Army Medical Center commissioned a new, four-legged staff member with a penchant for spreading joy to the rank of United States Army major during a ceremony June 6.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Conditions and Treatments

Army, Navy Public Health Officials Collect Weapon System-related Health Hazard Data in Support of Blast Overpressure Exposure Assessment

Article Around MHS
6/21/2022
Military personnel by M777 Howitzer

A team of scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center recently traveled to Fort Carson to conduct a Joint Service Member Occupational Health Assessment, also known as a JSOHA, of the M777 Howitzer—a weapon that is routinely used in military training and combat operations.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

DGMC Trains Medics on TCCC, Boost Readiness for Next Battle

Article Around MHS
6/9/2022
Military medical personnel in classroom

Medics at David Grant USAF Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, California, are being trained monthly during a week-long course on tactical combat casualty care in an Air Force-wide initiative to standardize medical readiness training for all service members.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

Medical Readiness Key to Lead-Wing Deployment

Article Around MHS
6/2/2022
2rd OMRS medical insignia patch

Air Combat Command has tasked the 23rd Wing to be Lead-Wing ready in October of 2022 and medically preparing Airmen for a Lead-Wing deployment is no small feat.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

378th Medical Partnerships Sustain Life and Mission

Article Around MHS
6/1/2022
Military medical personnel perform mock emergency care

Air Force medical contingency response team members, with the 378th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, perform mock emergency medical care for a simulated casualty at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Warrior Care

Multiservice medical providers, medics take on dive injuries, treatments

Article Around MHS
5/31/2022
Military personnel in pool for training

A group of medical providers and medics recently spent two weeks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Dive Center here learning how to treat patients who may have suffered a dive injury.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Warrior Care

“Buddy! Buddy! Are You Okay?” A Look Into The Marine Corps' Livesaver Course

Article Around MHS
4/19/2022
Combat Lifesaver Course practical

The Combat Lifesaver Course is a three-day course that teaches Marines lifesaving medical techniques to eliminate preventable loss of life on the battlefield.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Practice makes perfect: Uniformed Services University students learn combat casualty care

Article Around MHS
10/22/2021
An instructor gives advice on how a team of medical school students at the Uniformed Services University should work on their simulated patient during the Advanced Combat Medical Experience. 

The Advanced Combat Medical Experience (ACME), a four-day medical field practicum at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), is intense

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Expeditionary Medical Force Brings Optimal Readiness in Pacific Region

Article Around MHS
10/18/2021
A male soldier talks about a chart to to a female sailor.

The 121st Field Hospital of the 549th Hospital Center recently introduced an innovative way to increase medical Soldiers’ proficiency and competency by enhancing access to the field hospital equipment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support
Showing results 1 - 9 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: January 25, 2021

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.