Army Medical Maintenance Community Bids Farewell to Long-time Legend
After more than 50 years on the job, biomedical equipment specialist Gordon Linford says it is time to pack up his tools.
Linford, who first joined the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency in 1966, announced he will retire -- for the second time -- at the end of 2017.
"I have been around about as long as USAMMA," laughed Linford, referring to when the agency gained its new name of USAMMA in 1965.
Throughout the past five decades, Linford served in a variety of government positions including as the first chief of Medical Maintenance Operations Division -- Hill located at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. In 1998, Linford retired from federal service and spent eight years working for a non-profit foundation before returning to USAMMA as a contractor in 2009.
Of his greatest achievements, Linford is most proud of his early "inventions" conceived from his expertise in X-ray. In the late 1960s, motivated by the need to cut costs, he and other team members developed a system to rebuild X-ray tubes at MMOD-Tracy in California.
"For us to send out an X-ray tube to a private company would cost the Army about $10,000 - $12,000, which is about $100,000 in today's dollars," said Linford. "Our system allows us to cut that cost in half."
Linford also helped develop a multi-purpose unit that could test many different pieces of X-ray equipment.
"I am probably one of the last that can trouble-shoot vacuum tubes...but they don't have a lot of those left anymore," admitted Linford.
Serving the Soldier has always been an honor for Linford, who spent six years in the Army Reserves from 1960-1966. He also spent 21 years as a warrant officer in the California National Guard and the Utah Army Reserve 1980-2001. Although he said he has greatly enjoyed his entire career, especially his time spent at the agency's medical maintenance depots, it is time to move on.
Therefore, Linford, a father to six children and grandfather to nine, has written a "bucket list." Those who know Linford are not surprised by the top item -- skiing.
"I have been skiing since I was 11 years old," said 76-year-old Linford. "At my age, they only charge $25-$45 for a season pass, so I am going to ski as much as possible!"
Linford also has plans to travel. His goal is to see every national park in the U.S., and then transit the Panama Canal. When he isn't traveling, he wants to learn more about his family history.
Meanwhile, his USAMMA family prepares to bid the longtime legend farewell.
"Gordon has dedicated his life in service of others. He has led when needed and followed when asked. His expertise and mentorship have nurtured countless generations of medical equipment repair specialists, which will have a lasting positive effect on our organization," said Jack Rosarius, director of USAMMA's Medical Maintenance Management Directorate.
Added Rosarius, "Gordon is and will always be a member of the USAMMA family."