AFMAO employee awarded 30-year certificate

  • Published
  • By Christin Michaud
  • AFMAO Public Affairs
An Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations employee was recognized for her dedicated service during a commander's call here April 19.

Charlotte Smart, a clerk with the port mortuary, received a certificate for 30 years of civil service to the government.

As part of the administrative staff, Smart is responsible for coordinating transportation for fallen service members on the way to their final resting place through commercial travel, contracted Kalitta flights and hearse drivers.

"By doing my job, I am helping bring closure to family members by getting their loved ones home," said Smart.

They also serve as a focal point for service liaisons for information related to each casualty.

The process has come a long way since Smart worked in the old facility in 1985. She said they were just transitioning to computers when she left the mortuary after more than a decade of service.
In 1998, she was reassigned during staff cuts, but jumped at the opportunity to come back in 2010. It was an easy decision for her family, because her husband told her, "You've never been happy since you left."

Her experience at the mortuary is one of the highlights of her career, she said.

Another highlight was her experience as the commander's secretary with the 436th Equipment Maintenance Squadron.

There, she said she worked for five great commanders who allowed her to be very proactive in all squadron events, including planning and setting up retirements and change of command ceremonies.

Smart began her career with the Department of Defense in 1983 with the Naval Sea Combat Systems Engineering Station in Norfolk, Va., she said. She worked there for two years before starting at the Dover Port Mortuary in November 1985.

During the course of her civilian career, she's also worked in vehicle maintenance twice, as well as in finance, the 436th Mission Support Squadron and Education and Training.

Today, in the new operations center of the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, she continues her service in honoring the nation's fallen.