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Cindy Cutsail Retires after 43 Years of Federal Service

Col. Stephen Delal presents Cindy Cutsail with a Certificate of Retirement
Col. Stephen Delal presents Cindy Cutsail with a Certificate of Retirement from the Department of the Army during a ceremony held at Dutch's Daughter restaurant, Frederick, Maryland, August 30. Cutsail was recognized for 43 years of federal civilian service. (Photo by Jeffrey Soares, USAMMDA public affairs)

In 1975, a postage stamp cost 10 cents, and people across the nation were listening to rock music on 8-track tapes, wearing hip-huggers and bell-bottom pants, while trying desperately to unlock the mystery of the Rubik's Cube. Audiences were laughing along with the premiere of "Saturday Night Live" on television, and vowing to stay clear of the ocean after the horror of "Jaws" in theaters. And in the midst of everything that was the "Seventies," a young Cindy Engle had hopes of becoming an airline stewardess, to travel the skies and see the world. Fortunately, especially for those of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity at Fort Detrick, Maryland, a stringent height requirement for flight attendants kept the girl's feet firmly on the ground.

At the end of August, Engle (now Cindy Cutsail) will gather with family, friends and co-workers to celebrate her retirement after 43 years of faithful service to our nation as a federal employee – a tremendous feat that is growing more uncommon with each passing year. In an age of "job-hopping" for career advancement, salary increases, better benefits, or simply boredom, Cutsail has remained a true constant, despite the ever-changing world around her.

"Over the past 43 years, I have seen many changes," she explained. "From manual typewriters to computer word processors, four-part carbon copies to paperless files on an online server. I've seen our workforce progress from all civilian workers to a majority of government contractors, and of course, increased military personnel as well, and I've worked with so many great people during this time."

When mentioning her name throughout the organization, team members quickly describe Cutsail as "pleasant," "personable," and a "true team player." She has earned a reputation as a proactive person who will quickly help wherever help is needed, filling the void to keep things running smoothly. Few understand the mission of USAMMDA more clearly, and one would be hard-pressed to find a person more dedicated to our nation than Cutsail has been over her professional career.

Having spent her first nine years of civilian service at the National Institutes of Health, and the next two years with the Department of Energy, Cutsail's time with USAMMDA remains the longest at 32 years, where she serves as an administrative support assistant in the Administrative Services Division. She jokes that when she first started in 1986, she was the youngest employee on the team, and now she is blessed to be counted among the oldest. But, of course, age is merely a state of mind, and Cutsail's youthful attitude and demeanor truly confirm this.

"USAMMDA is an 'environment of change,'" she said, "but it's also been like an extended family to me. I've seen people come, go, and come back, because it's a great place to work, and this is part of the reason I've stayed for so long. I'm proud to have been among those with long tenures here, and I've always been willing to take on other tasks when needed."

She recalls working on a much smaller USAMMDA team, in mobile office spaces before the organization was relocated to its current building. In light of her tenure, Cutsail is proud to have served under every USAMMDA commander since the second, beginning in 1986. The current commander, Army Col. Ryan Bailey, is just as proud to count her as a member of the USAMMDA family.

"Cindy's work for USAMMDA over the past 32 years has been amazing, dynamic and productive," said Bailey. "Her service to supporting critical administrative and procurement missions has always been impeccable. She truly embodies a dedicated professional who committed her heart and soul to the USAMMDA mission.

"Cindy is loved and will truly be missed," he continued. "This retirement is well earned, and it starts a new chapter in her life where she can enjoy time with her family and friends. We wish her all the best!"

Cutsail said she is looking forward to the years ahead, to be able to enjoy life at her own pace. She hopes to accomplish things on her own "to-do list," but she certainly will enlist the help of her husband of 39 years, Keith. Cutsail beams when speaking of the house he built in the area for their family, utilizing his construction company. In this home, they have raised their two sons, both of whom are Frederick County school teachers, welcomed a daughter-in-law to the family, and enjoyed the birth of their grandson, now three years old.

Although Cutsail was born in Aberdeen, Maryland, while her father was serving in the Army, her parents moved to Frederick County when she was very young, and she has lived here ever since. As an only child, Cutsail explained that her mother and father were of the traditional hardworking type, and they also grew up in the region. Although she loves the area, she admits that she wishes it had remained more like the rural farmland of her younger days.

However, Cutsail is very aware of life's unavoidable changes, whether large or small, and she has incorporated this into the philosophical mantra by which she lives.

"Life has many ups and downs that we all experience at one time or another," she says, "so we all have to find a happy median, both personally and professionally, in order to accomplish all of our goals in the time we're given."

Along with the time set aside for projects, and spending more time with her grandson, Cutsail is looking forward to occasional trips with her husband, who is planning his own retirement in the near future. She hopes to see more of the country, perhaps more of the world, which certainly would involve a few airplane flights, here or there. After more than four decades, it looks like those aspirations of flying the blue skies will finally come full circle.

But for all of those who have had the great pleasure of working with Cutsail over the past 43 years, we all can attest that it was certainly worth the wait.

Last Modified Date: 08/31/2018