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579th MDG welcomes new commander

BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- The men and women of the 579th Medical Group welcomed Col. Dennis L. Oakes as the new 579th MDG commander during a ceremony on the U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Lawn May 25. Colonel Oakes takes the reins from Col. Brenda J. McEleney. 

Colonel Oakes comes to the 11th Wing from the Air Force Surgeon General's Modernization Directorate, and is originally from Danville, Va. 

He received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. After working in the civilian sector for 18 months, Colonel Oakes entered the U.S. Air Force with a direct commission in 1983 and was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, where he worked as a clinical nurse. 

Colonel Oakes has also been stationed at the U. S. Air Force Academy; Eglin AFB, Fla.; TRICARE Management Agency; Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; and Robins AFB, Ga. 

He has earned the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and Air Force Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Colonel Oakes was named the El Paso County Colorado Nurse of the Year in 1990.