Sometimes it’s the little changes that make the biggest impact on a person’s day.
A new policy designates Air Force Materiel Command installation Child Development Centers as, “no hat, no salute” zones, allowing Airmen to better focus on the safety of their young ones during what can often be the most hectic and chaotic time of their day.
“As many parents can attest, dropping a toddler or young child off at the CDC can be crazy. Often you are juggling their bags while trying to hold their hand so they don’t run off into the streets while trying to be cognizant of leaders who may be around you so that you can provide the proper customs and courtesies. It can be extremely stressful,” said Ashley Morgan, communications lead, Commander’s Accelerated Initiatives team. “This simple policy change allows our Airmen to focus on getting their children into the CDC facility safely. It’s one easy way we’re helping to create a better environment for the AFMC We Need.”
The policy change was driven by an Airman’s submission to the AFMC We Need initiative. Air Force Instruction 34-1201 leaves designating an area on an installation as no-hat, no-salute at the discretion of the commander. A number of Air Force installations have implemented this policy at Child Development Centers and in areas where it is determined that saluting is “highly repetitious or otherwise unfeasible” due to safety or other factors.
“This impacts every active duty parent across the entire enterprise. It’s continuous proof that we are listening, and when people submit suggestions, we don’t just dismiss them. Relieving stressors from family life so folks can focus on more mission-driven situations is paramount,” said Morgan.
The no hat, no salute policy is just one quality of life change being managed through the Commander’s Accelerated Initiatives team. The team is currently working a policy that would permit Bluetooth-enabled breast pumps to be brought into secure information facilities and collateral spaces, supporting the needs of new mothers working in these areas.
“We continually seek input and ideas from AFMC Airmen command-wide. Our goal is to make the AFMC workplace better, and we need our Airmen to tell us where we can benefit from change. We continue to focus on driving innovation and positive change across the mission spectrum,” said Morgan.