MacDill radiology tech trains next generation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tori Shultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
"The Air Force gave me a chance to go out of my comfort zone and buckle down on studying, which helped me get where I am today," said Senior Airmen Corey Silfen, radiology technician with the 6th Medical Support Squadron.

Silfen, a North Carolina native, enlisted in the Air Force a year after graduating from high school in January 2013. He decided he wasn't ready for college and wanted to chase his goal of joining the military.

During Basic Military Training, Silfen was notified that he would be going to technical school to become a radiology technician. Although he had a hard time focusing in school and studying for exams, Silfen quickly learned healthier study habits during technical training.

"My tech school was probably the toughest challenge in my career so far," said Silfen. "I had to grasp a two-and-half year program in only 14 months."

During training, Silfen had the opportunity to x-ray a man who broke both his clavicles during a bike accident.

"That's when I knew my decision to enlist and focus on studying was a good choice," said Silfen. "The most enjoyable part about my job is seeing the structures and fractures of bones and how everything fits into place."

On a daily basis, Silfen examines patients in need of an x-ray. He then processes and quality checks images taken throughout the day. Every diagnostic image taken is quality checked by a trained Airman before doctors can use it for a diagnosis.

It just so happens that MacDill is one of 11 bases that host phase two radiology training, and Silfen has taken on the responsibility of helping train new Airmen.

"Senior Airman Silfen is a great energetic teacher and role model for our students," said Tech. Sgt. Kent Duncan, floor manager of diagnostic imaging with 6th MDSS. "He goes out of his way to train students to be the best radiographers that the MacDill Diagnostic Imaging Department can introduce to the Air Force medical team."

Silfen plans on staying in the Air Force until retirement to see what else the Air Force has to offer and continue his education. His goal is to earn a certification with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists so he can continue his radiology career outside of the military.

"Senior Airman Silfen is a hardworking and dedicated Airmen who goes above and beyond to learn and master his craft and performs well above his paygrade," said Duncan. "He has taken on challenging roles that are meant for people senior in rank...and has proven he has the ability to handle them with ease."