Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maryland Defense Force 10th Medical Regiment Gets New Commander

By CPT(MD) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
06 September 2011

On September 6, 2011 Col. (MDDF) Walter Hettinger assumed command of the Maryland Defense Force’s 10th Medical Regiment from the previous regimental commander, Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Stanley Minken. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Minken transitioned to a new position as the Medical Advisor to the commanding general of the Maryland Defense Force, Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm.

Dr. Walter Hettinger graduated from Kenwood High School in Baltimore County prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant. While serving in the U.S. Army, Col. (MDDF) Hettinger studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California and specialized as a voice interceptor.

Following his military service, Col. (MDDF) Hettinger attended Johns Hopkins University where he received a bachelor’s degree in biophysics and also did graduate work in the same field. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Col. (MDDF) Hettinger attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. While he was enrolled as a medical student, Dr. Hettinger received the prestigious Maryland Family Practice Scholarship and a Bureau of Indian Affairs Scholarship. While in his senior year in medical school, he received a commission from the U.S. Public Health Service as an ensign and worked at the Quinault Indian Reservation in Taholah, Washington. As a Native American member of the Yankton Sioux tribe this important mission was of special significance to Col. (MDDF) Hettinger.

After graduation from medical school Dr. Hettinger completed a family medicine residency and an obstetrics and gynecology fellowship in family medicine. Since his residency, Dr. Hettinger has worked in emergency medicine at hospitals from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the Baltimore region. He is currently Board Certified in emergency medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Currently he serves as an attending physician at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Maryland.

While serving with the MDDF, Dr. Hettinger has coordinated various officer candidate and post deployment health assessment missions with the Maryland National Guard. In 2007 he also participated in an Air National Guard humanitarian mission to the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Col. (MDDF) Hettinger is the recipient of the Maryland Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Maryland Commendation Medal (three awards), the Maryland Defense Force Achievement Medal, the Maryland Emergency Service Medal (two awards) and the Maryland Humanitarian Service Medal.

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.