HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- On a day-to-day basis, there’s little that happens at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Operations Division at Hill Air Force Base without John Jeske’s oversight.
He tracks inventory, manages shipping and receiving of medical equipment and daily workflow to ensure customer maintenance requests are completed in a timely fashion, helping maintain operational readiness of medical forces.
Over his five-plus years at MMOD-Hill, Jeske’s responsibilities have continued to grow, and he’s embraced the challenge every step of the way, according to his leaders and peers alike.
USAMMA recently named Jeske as its Civilian of the Year for 2022.
“The Army’s greatest strength is our people and that includes our civilians,” USAMMA Sgt. Maj. Hugo Roman said. “For USAMMA, our civilians are the nucleus of our organization. They provide the critical skills and unique talents that we need to be successful.”
Jeske, currently detailed as interim production controller at MMOD-Hill, previously worked as an inventory manager and transportation coordinator.
“I was really surprised and excited to receive such an honor,” Jeske said. “I know that there are a lot of USAMMA civilians who are deserving, and I feel very fortunate to be the one selected.”
In his prior roles, Jeske was responsible for MMOD-Hill’s medical maintenance warehouse with over 3,500 medical devices worth over $50 million. He also managed shipping and receiving for all devices into the division and out to USAMMA customers worldwide.
As production controller, Jeske oversees property accountability, new equipment records and control of workflow into the shop. He also ensures the team meets required delivery dates -- all the while mentoring his replacements in the other two positions.
Jose Vasquez, director of MMOD-Hill, said Jeske’s work “is instrumental in the efficient and successful operations” of the division, adding that he consistently completes inventories with no discrepancies and in a timely manner to ensure maintenance processes continue without delays.
“(Jeske) is the center of the logistics processes and has met 99.9% of all shipping requirements,” Vasquez said. “As a consummate team player, he consistently communicates with all shipping and transportation stakeholders to mitigate potential problems and find solutions.”
MMOD-Hill is one of three medical maintenance divisions under USAMMA, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command. AMLC serves as the Army’s premier medical logistics organization and life cycle management command for medical materiel.
As a key leader for MMOD-Hill, which specializes in pulmonary, anesthesia and oxygen-generation equipment, Jeske ensures “exceptional inventory accountability, relentless pursuit to meet shipping deadlines and the commitment to duty,” Vasquez added.
“John’s phenomenal work ethic resulted in his selection for a temporary promotion to production control manager with the added task of mentoring a young Soldier who took over as the inventory manager,” he said. “John is a testament to the Army Civilian creed. His dedication to the Army’s medical maintenance mission merits recognition.”
Kyle Hotchkiss, interim inventory manager and one of Jeske’s mentees at MMOD-Hill, described his mentor as “kind, knowledgeable, driven and, most importantly, a resilient employee.”
“He always puts the mission first and is the foundation of our success,” Hotchkiss said.
While handling the pressures of his day-to-day tasks, Jeske never hesitates to patiently mentor and teach others, and always takes great care in every situation, according to Hotchkiss.
“Even when you make a mistake, he will guide you instead of belittling you and give you the time you need to accomplish the task correctly,” Hotchkiss said.
“John Jeske is more than worthy … and anyone who doesn’t think he deserves employee of the year has never met the man and doesn’t see all he does for this organization.”
Roman said USAMMA leadership enjoys recognizing the great work of their employees because it serves a dual purpose for the agency.
“It sets a positive work environment and reinforces a culture of recognition, while providing a means to communicate our organizational values and create meaningful bonds with our teammates,” he said.
Roman used a quote from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston -- “the Army is a team sport” -- to further describe the role of USAMMA’s civilians.
“Our civilians play a critical part of the USAMMA team,” Roman said. “Without them, we would lose our continuity, expertise and the talent necessary to accomplish our mission.”