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Congratulations, Major Malecek!

Published in Medical Professionals Author: Terri Malecek,APRN,CDCES,CNP,FNP

Many people know Terri Malecek, as a Nurse Practitioner at our Clinic in Redwood Falls. In addition to her active medical practice, she’s also a busy mom of five kids and lives with her husband, Marty, on their family farm just outside of Redwood Falls.

What many people don’t know about Terri is that she also goes by “Major Malecek,” in her 20-year career with the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Terri joined the National Guard at the rank of Private in May of 1998 when she was 19 years old and a freshman at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Her roommate had already joined the Guards and told her about all the great benefits, including college funding and career training. Ultimately though, it was Terri’s dad who gave her the inspiration to enlist.

“My dad was drafted and served in the Vietnam War,” she said. “Growing up, I always had great respect for his service and thought it was incredibly honorable.”

That summer following her freshman year of college, she completed her basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and later received her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Bethany the following spring. She went on to complete her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) the next summer and started her job in the National Guard as a “71L,” or administrative assistant.

The following year, Terri enrolled at Minnesota State University in Mankato and began her undergraduate studies to become a nurse. She re-classed to become a medic in the Army and served in this enlisted role for six years. She was the rank of Sergeant when she finished nursing school and after receiving her B.S. in Nursing, she sought out a commission to become an Officer.

In 2004, she was commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps as a Second Lieutenant and served in several units throughout Minnesota. They included: 2-135 HHC out of Mankato, 4-34 MSB out of Cottage Grove, C Co. 1-34 out of Cottage Grove and the MN Medical Detachment (MED DET) unit out of Camp Ripley. Throughout this time, she was promoted 3 additional times and ended her career at the rank of Major. For 20 years, Terri found a way to balance school, work, marriage and kids, along with her active career in the National Guard.

“The majority of my time was with the Medical Detachment unit. Most recently, I served as OIC (Officer in Charge) of the Soldier Readiness Processing section (SRP), which is the section that is responsible for getting everyone ready to deploy. We made sure each soldier was physically and mentally ready for deployment, checked medical conditions, and verified that any medications the soldiers were on were acceptable.”

In May of 2018 Terri reached 20 years of military service. It is at the 20-year mark when soldiers have the option to retire which qualifies them for retirement and medical benefits. Soldiers also have the option to continue to serve, but Terri choose to transfer to the Retired Reserve and end her active time. When she addressed her unit for the last time she ended saying “My husband and I have created our own little Army at home (with the 5 kids) so it’s time to stay home and take care of them.” Terri stated she has always had great pride in serving and is honored to have had the opportunity to give back to this great country we live in, but it certainly takes time away from home and family. “It will be nice to not have to worry about missing the kids’ activities and being away for several days at a time, although I will really miss my military family as well. It certainly is a bond like no other.”

Major Malecek’s final formation was on July 15, 2018. On that Sunday morning at 0600, Terri lined up with her unit for the final time with her family standing on the side watching. It was her last day in uniform with the U.S. Army.

After 20 years of service with the Minnesota National Guard, Terri was awarded with the Meritorious Service Medal. She was presented with a U.S. flag and given the opportunity to address the company. She was also presented with the Meritorious Service Medal signed by the Adjutant General of the Minnesota Army National Guard.

The words on the award read:

For 20 years of combined meritorious service with the MN Army National Guard, MAJ Malecek’s ability to train and mentor her troops is unparalleled and has allowed her to succeed in every aspect of her career. Her ability to maintain a positive attitude through high pressured situations is always appreciated. MAJ Malecek’s service is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon her, her unit, the Minnesota Army National Guard, and the United States Army.

“It was never my goal to make my service into a career and stay for 20 years, but I’m glad I did. My husband has been a great support and I certainly could have not done this without his help.”

Congratulations, Major Malecek!

Major Malecek with her Medical Detachment unit at Camp Ripley