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October 25, 2013

Group works at fostering pride, respect for Total Force Enterprise Team March

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Maj. Deric Prescott
951 RSPTS Judge Advocate

Culture of Respect Team committee members, from left, Col. Max T. Stitzer, commander 452nd Maintenance Group and Air Reserve Technician representative; Michael LePenske, president, American Federation of Government Employees Local 3854 and Juan Nadal, AFGE 3854; Maj. Deric Prescott, 951st Reserve Support Squadron Judge Advocate and an active duty representative; and Jeff Josserand, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, Chief of Manpower and civilian representative. The group meets to address specific issues that interfere with the ability of employees to effectively interact with one another.

Prior to his departure, Col. Samuel Mahaney, 452nd Air Mobility Wing former commander, received questions regarding regulations that specifically applied to Air Reserve Technicians. The issues covered all sorts of topics, from uniform wear and benefits to improving relations among all personnel on base.

“This wing emphasizes four tenets of leadership,” said Mahaney. “If you take care of your people, they will take care of the mission; a culture of feedback, a culture of respect and an expectation of excellence. I am pleased that several employees took the culture of feedback seriously.”

In response to the questions presented, Mahaney asked Col. Max Stitzer, 452nd Maintenance Group commander, to partner with American Federation of Government Employees Local 3854 president, Michael LePenske, to form a task force to enhance the understanding of each of the unique participation categories on base, as well as develop a training module for all base personnel.

“The goal,” Stitzer said, “is to provide a basic level of understanding as to the unique opportunity that March Air Reserve Base provides as a living example of how the Total Force Enterprise effort of the Air Force can be successfully implemented. It all starts, however, with respect for each other.”

The group tries to meet for at least one hour, every week, to address specific issues that interfere with the ability of employees to effectively interact with one another.

The committee, known as the ‘Culture of Respect’ Team, is comprised of at least one representative from each category of employees at March Field, from regular Air Force to traditional civilian and all categories in between.

Working together is the key to getting the mission accomplished, and the members of the team are optimistic as to the success that an effort like this can bring.

“As resources continue to be stretched thin, all offices will have to find the right balance among the staffing options that the Air Force has,” said Jeff Josserand, 452 AMW, Chief of Manpower and a member of the CORE Team. “From Air Reserve Technicians, civilians and traditional reservists to Active Guard and Reserve and regular Air Force, not any one element will be able to function without the help from the others.”

The group completed the education module earlier this month and will begin ‘beta testing’ it with a cross section of base employees to ensure the major tenets are achieved.

“This module will educate regular Air Force members about ART position descriptions and permissible duty while in civilian status compared to their military status. This module will also cover active-duty concepts that ARTs need to be aware of.

By educating members of our Reserve-Led Total Force Enterprise, we hope to foster a culture of respect by ensuring that we all understand each other’s roles, responsibilities and limitations.

“Being part of this CORE team looks surprisingly promising,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Hicks, an ART representative. “It will be interesting to see if anything actually changes after this.”

Once the education module is completed, the CORE Team will take on additional concerns to continue to foster the culture of respect for Team March.




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