Dierfeldt named top field-grade physician in Air Guard

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Horton
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Daniel Dierfeldt, chief of aerospace medicine for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Medical Group, has been named Air National Guard’s Field-Grade Physician of the Year for 2022.

The annual award recognizes the Air National Guard’s top field physician based on expertise, leadership and commitment.

Col. Otto Hans, 123rd Medical Group commander, says Dierfeldt’s “dedication, hard work and excellence on the job” made him an obvious choice for the honor.

“I’m impressed, but not surprised,” Hans said. “When you work with Col. Dierfeldt as much as I have since I’ve been here, his excellence is just very clear.

“For all the competition that’s there, to be selected as physician of the year is a big deal,” Hans continued. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. I know that we have great people in this organization, but to have that externally validated at the National Guard Bureau is pretty cool.”

During the award period, Dierfeldt filled a critical provider shortage, completing more than 400 public health assessments and singlehandedly increasing the wing’s readiness by 6 percent while also returning 26 Airmen to flight status, directly boosting the wing’s operability.

Additionally, Dierfeldt executed 40 patient visits, completed 20 flight waivers and chaired five committees, safeguarding the more than 1,200 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard despite the added difficulty of the aftermath of COVID-19, Hans said.

“You’re talking about doing all of this in the contested environment of COVID, with all of our operational medical challenges, and Daniel just excelled,” Hans said. “He thrived where he was planted despite all of the challenges in the last several years.”