When Daniel Fisher walked into the U.S. Air Force recruiting office in Sylva, North Carolina, nine years ago, he was lost with no sense of direction or purpose. After graduating Swain County High School in 2007, he was taking college classes and driving a truck when he decided to enlist. He never looked back.
Defense Health Agency Noncommissioned Officer of the Year U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel Fisher competed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Noncommissioned Officer of Year competition in Washington, D.C in May 2023. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in August 2023.
Fisher said the award was confirmation he is doing the right things and the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute mission is valued throughout DHA.
“I believe what we do is the tip of the spear in medical training,” said Fisher, DMRTI’s Academic Support Branch noncommissioned-officer-in-charge. “That’s why I’ve thrown all of myself at improving our courses and to train the best instructors in the Department of Defense. Winning this award affirms that I’m putting my energy in the right places and that the work must continue.”
DMRTI, a division within DHA’s Education and Training Directorate, provides military personnel, active duty and reserve, medical and operational training to prepare them to support health service support missions around the globe.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Douglas Rozelle, DMRTI’s senior enlisted advisor, said when Fisher is given a task, it will be done to the highest standard possible.
“He is on his way to being a gift to the medical Air Force Specialty Codes and the Air Force,” said Rozelle, DHA’s 2022 Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
“He has the gumption, drive, character, and belief in people to take our AFSC to new heights.”
Fisher, a subject matter expert in pre-hospital medicine and an affiliate faculty member at the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians for tactical combat casualty care and prehospital trauma life support, was requested by the Uniformed Services University Center for Global Health Engagement to support the National Defense Strategy’s mission to increase interoperability with the Republic of Ghana.
While in country for more than a month last year, Fisher led a four-member team creating a NAEMT training site and assisted the 37th Military Hospital, the second largest hospital in Ghana, to establish its own tactical combat casualty care program.
“Without a doubt the best part of my job is teaching others how to save lives,” said Fisher, who graduated summa cum laude from Western Carolina University last year with a bachelor’s degree in emergency and disaster management. “I can save many more lives than I can by myself.”
Although an individual award, Fisher credits the rewarding mission and efforts by the outstanding service members he works with daily and the love and support of his wife, Jillian, for receiving this honor.
“I believe this award shows the people I work with that what we do is important,” he said. “Just as this award validates my efforts, it validates theirs also. Leaders say that service members are ineffective if they don’t have a work/life balance. Well, she is my balance. Her commitment to the Air Force is no less than mine.”