RAF Mildenhall civil servant retiring after 64 years of service

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Ms. Faith A. Rutterford, MBE, 81, joined the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence as a Civil Servant on April 27, 1959 supporting the United States Visiting Forces. Her first, and only position for the entire 64 years, was secretary to the Commander of the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron located at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, UK. RAF Mildenhall is home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing of the United States Air Force.

Her Royal Highness, Anne, the Princess Royal presented the Most Excellence Order of the British Empire to Rutterford at an Investiture Ceremony held at Windsor Castle in London, UK on Feb. 28, 2023. Rutterford was made an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List announced on June 1, 2022 for Public Service.

“I was very honored, however, very humble,” said Rutterford.

Rutterford began working at the installation in 1959. 64 years and 29 days continued service is potentially a world record for a Civil Service career and an application has been submitted to Guinness World Records to validate.

Rutterford is also an avid gardener and volunteers at the local chapel in the village of Barton Mills, just outside Mildenhall town where she has lived her entire life. Rutterford has contributed to the history archives of RAF Mildenhall and helped the Mildenhall Museum identify photographs from around the local area and is a prominent figure on and off the airbase.

When asked about her favorite experience while working at RAF Mildenhall, Rutterford explained, “I can't really put my finger on anything specific, everyday had something different to offer, perhaps that's the most importation thing about working here, there is something new happening every day.”

A day of celebrations, culminating in a retirement ceremony on May 25, 2023 was held at RAF Mildenhall.