Beyond the Uniform: Senior Master Sgt. Workman

Recently, I was awarded the 2016 Department of Defense National Preparedness Award (Reserve Component, Individual) for domestic operations for the State of Wisconsin…It’s nice to be recognized for the work […]

Recently, I was awarded the 2016 Department of Defense National Preparedness Award (Reserve Component, Individual) for domestic operations for the State of Wisconsin…It’s nice to be recognized for the work we have done here within the State of Wisconsin. This award represents a strong collective effort. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything without the group of people who stand behind and support me through all our operations and endeavors. I feel very fortunate to be able lead and represent our hardworking firefighters.

“The Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards recognize individuals, teams, and installations that distinguish themselves in supporting mission readiness through environmental acumen. The awards recognize individuals, teams, and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, Mr. Kenneth P. Rapuano, hosts the annual DoD National Preparedness Award Ceremony in honor of the 2016 recipients in the Hall of Heroes, in the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 21, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Trevor Wiegel)

I was born in Charleston, WV and lived in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas prior to entering military service. I went to South Charleston High School, where I was a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC for three years, graduating as a cadet Lieutenant Colonel.  I entered the delayed entry program for the United States Air Force prior to graduating high school in 1997. I entered Air Force basic military training in June of 1998. After graduating from BMT, I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB, TX and attended the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy for fire protection training.

After finishing fire protection training, I was assigned to Laughlin AFB, TX as a firefighter. While stationed at Laughlin AFB, I filled the roles of Driver/Operator, Fire Officer, Station Captain, and Assistant Chief of Logistics. While stationed at Laughlin AFB, I went on two expeditionary deployments totaling over 308 days. The first in 2002, was to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation Southern Watch, providing fire protection to joint forces in the months leading to the invasion of Iraq. After returning from deployment, I attended in-resident Airman Leadership School at Randolph AFB, TX serving as class leader. In 2005, I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and assigned to the 732nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, assigned to a detachment for the United States Army, where I performed as a member of the Rescue Air Mobile Squad (RAMS), operating out of Camp Cedar II, providing vehicle extrication for military convoys and its members who were struck by improvised explosive devices.

For my expeditionary service while attached to the Army, I received the Army Commendation Medal. That same year, I was awarded non-commissioned officer of year by the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron.  In 2006, after eight years of active duty service, I enlisted in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, Truax Field, as a Fire Protection Craftsman assigned to the 115th Fire Emergency and Services Flight. I was called again in 2009 for expeditionary deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where I was assigned to Sather AB, Iraq. I served as Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, ensuring fire safety actions were taken protecting life and property of the base populous. Additionally, I have occupied the positions of Unit Career Advisor and Unit Fitness Program Manager while residing with the 115th CES. Currently, I serve in the additional role as the Wisconsin Air National Guard Urban Search and Rescue (WIANG USAR) Coordinator, implementing the leadership and management of the states military urban search and rescue capabilities for state emergencies and domestic operations.

In 2008, I had the privilege of beginning my career as a firefighter with the City of Madison, where I am currently assigned to Fire Station #1. During my tenure with the Madison Fire Department, I had the opportunity to be a member of the Lake Rescue Team as a rescue diver, and participated in multiple fire recruit academies as a training officer. As a member of my community, I’ve had the pleasure to coach high school football as an assistant coach within the Durand and Pecatonica, Illinois communities since 2008. This rewarding opportunity allowed the ability to share leadership and mentorship with the young men within my community, and help guide them towards successful careers and future endeavors. Through hard work and dedication, I’ve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University, in Orange Beach, AL, with a 4.0 GPA.

 

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, Mr. Kenneth P. Rapuano, hosts the annual DoD National Preparedness Award Ceremony in honor of the 2016 recipients in the Hall of Heroes, in the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 21, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Trevor Wiegel)

 

Chad Workman performs a water rescue during training with the city of Madison, Wisconsin.