McEntire retires a 40-year veteran
By Airman Megan Floyd, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 05, 2016
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Mr. Derriel Amick, a contract inspector here, is set to retire from the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron, Jan. 11th after more than 40 years of service both as a Guardsman and state employee, and countless hours improving this installation.
"He started his military career here, but his love and passion for McEntire led him to become a full-time employee, and he rose in the ranks on the civil engineering maintenance staff," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tim Dotson, director of mission support assigned to the 169th Mission Support Group.
Amick joined the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1970, and was enlisted until 1982. During that time, he was hired as an electrician for the Office of The Adjutant General.
After 10 years, Amick became the state employee maintenance superintendent in 1986, where he supervised roughly 30-35 employees. He retired from that position after a total of 35 years.
"I was then asked by [Lt.] Col. Dotson if I wanted to be a contracting inspector here," said Amick. "I hated the thought of leaving McEntire because it's such a nice close-knit family out here, so I accepted."
Due to Amick's involvement in various projects and renovations over the years, he's developed an unparalleled understanding of this base and its infrastructure.
"His brain works differently than most," said Lt. Col. Rick Noble, a base civil engineer with the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron. "When he sees something put in the ground, he can remember where it is within a foot. As far as his knowledge of utilities and the infrastructure of the base, he's one of one. No one knows it like he does."
He planned projects for future base improvements and helped execute what McEntire has become from way back in the day to what it is today, said Dotson. He'll be gone but definitely not forgotten.
"It may not be on paper, but he can remember what purpose the utilities used to serve," said Dotson. "That's prevented what could have been a lot of major accidents over a long period of time."
Over the years, Amick has been renovating and upgrading practically everything on base, which included many buildings, airfield pavement and lighting, fighter ramp, main gate and so much more.
"We're ready because some of the visionary and strategic leadership that Derriel Amick brought to the organization and we made good investment decisions over the years," said Dotson. "The infrastructure on this installation supports the current mission and is well postured to support future emerging missions should they come our way and he was a big part of that."
Even though Amick knows this base like the back of his hand, it's not the only contribution that he's made during his time here.
"He developed people along the way, myself included," said Dotson. "I learned a lot from him. He's touched a lot of lives and led a lot of people."
Not many individuals make the decision to stick around as long as he has. Through the years, Amick has contributed countless hours to our installation, our people and to our mission.
"He can tell you what buildings used to be where and why it made sense," said Dotson. "He's been here to personally witness the mission changes, the various vintage aircraft that have been flown and he's worked for some of the Swamp Fox historically legendary leaders."
Amick will leave us with an empty desk and an installation that is ready for whatever comes our way.
"We will miss him," said Noble. "We're going to leave the door open in case he changes his mind, but somehow I doubt that."
Amick plans to spend more time with his wife Lynne who is also retiring soon from the Office of The Adjutant General's finance section.
"Both of them together have put their entire adult lives into our agencies, our state military department, serving on various levels," said Dotson. "They've brought so much to the organizations. They've helped make investments and helped save money. They've done good things in caring for the business."
Amick enjoyed his time here with us here at McEntire.
"If I had to start all over and do it again, heck yes I would," said Amick. "It's a great place to work with a good atmosphere. I would definitely do it again."