U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) logo
U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity

Theresa DeWeerd retires after 37 years of Government Service

Theresa Teri DeWeerd

Theresa "Teri" DeWeerd began working for the federal government in 1973.

When Teri began her career in 1973:

  • President Nixon announces an accord has been reached to end the Vietnam War
  • U.S. Supreme Court approves equal rights to females in military
  • President Nixon confesses his role in the Watergate cover-up
  • Willie Mays hits 660th (his last) homerun
  • "The Young and the Restless" premieres on CBS television

Since 1973, Teri maintained employment with the federal government for 37 years, 11 months and 25 days.

Federal government service started for Teri when she took the civil service commission test for clerk-typists/stenographers in December 1973. She started working as a General Schedule level 2 (GS-2) clerk-typist for the Civil Engineering Division at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois.

Teri's career moved along with her husband's, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years. Over these years, they moved from Chanute Air Force Base to Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Calif., Langley Air Force Base, Va., Castle Air Force Base, Calif., Fort Ritchie, Md., and finally to Fort Detrick, Md. Teri remained committed to civil service, and found a position at every location.

Working for the government for all these years did not come without its fair share of challenges. For Teri, one of the greatest challenges was finding a job while moving around with a military spouse. Teri also admitted that learning new computer software on the job instead of in a classroom was difficult. All of this, along with the red-tape bureaucracy that Teri faced in the federal government, did not keep her from sticking with it for over 37 years.

Along with the bad came the good. Teri found herself becoming the go-to person, helping people solve issues and problems.

"My organizational skills allowed me to take on additional duties at no detriment to my main duties," said Teri.

Teri's final position from which she retired was at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity at Fort Detrick, where she has worked as an administrative assistant for the Pharmaceutical Systems Project Management Office since August 1998.

According to Scott Doughty, deputy project manager for PSPMO, Teri is the lifeline for everyone in the division, and even the organization.

"I personally recall calling Teri from Thailand (pre-Defense Travel System days and pre-Blackberry cell phone days) to check-in, and getting a bit of relief to hear a familiar voice on the line," said Doughty. "She was always friendly and helpful, and if I had a question (which was often), she had the answer. And in more recent times, when I needed to move a family member to Maryland after Hurricane Katrina devastated their Gulf Coast town, Teri was always quick to ask if there was anything I needed help with and how things were going. She was personable, knowledgeable, and just an outstanding administrative assistant that helped anyone who asked."

Teri has confessed her plans for retirement, which include "Continuing my volunteer duties as membership chair and treasurer for the American Legion Auxiliary; reading; traveling; spending time with my granddaughters; home improvement and repair projects; and sleeping in - NO alarm clocks."

Teri's final day of work was on the first of August.

Last Modified Date: 12/04/2017