Saturday, June 29, 2013

Week 26 - Focus on Life - Halfway through the year and it's just the beginning!

I'm still here!  I've just started the most significant adventure of my whole life...I'm a squadron commander.  So, for capturing my Week 26 "Focus on Life" challenge, I have to share a picture that I didn't take, but can help me explain why my creative energy has been focused on something new and different...the 628th Force Support Squadron!  Sally says "it's your week...pick your prompt" so my theme this week is:  Service!
No, I didn't take this picture...the friendly folks at the Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs office did.  Oh, and my brother did me a favor and took some of the sweat off my lip in photo shop (which makes it not so official, so this is my unofficial, official photo.  The sweaty one is still posted up on the walls around my squadron.)

On 3 June I went through a Change of Command ceremony and took the guide-on (a flag that represents the unit) from my Group commander and officially assumed command of the 628th Force Support Squadron and Joint Base Charleston.  It's hard to describe exactly what that means, but basically my unit provides everything from child care to recreation to food to fitness to education to human resources to family programs to training to lodging and more.  All of it's done in the very public eye since we have activities all over the Air Base and the Weapons Station. It's actually kind of amazing and the team I have has stunned me with their capabilities every day over the last four weeks.  

We are on what's called a "joint base" which means they took a Navy installation down the road and combined it with an Air Force base to try to reduce overhead support costs.  I'm not necessarily convinced there has been much in the way of cost savings, but it sure has created an interesting environment of crossing two Service cultures and ways of doing business into one giant foundation of support for various types of customers.  

Added to that, part of our unit is actually a business entity.  It's hard to describe in civilian terms, but basically, we get part of our funding from "the government" (appropriated by Congress) and some of it we have to generate ourselves (non-appropriated).  So, we have what is basically a bunch of small businesses with all the marketing, accounting, managing, and planning that goes into creating successful ventures.  There are a ton of regulations and instructions that place some boundaries and limitations on what we can and can't do, so that's where my creative mind has been working a lot lately.  I'm learning where the boundaries are and then how to push them!  haaaaaaaaaaa  We have a fantastic website so you can get some idea of the span of activities:  Joint Base Charleston.
I've come home exhausted most evenings because I haven't had my brain this consistently engaged in a long time!  But, it's a great exhaustion because I feel exhilarated by my people and excited about learning how to deal with challenges I've never even imagined.  Some of those challenges seem absurd but some of them are cool...and all of them remind me that I am here to serve.  And that's a good thing.

So, I'll see if I can find that camera that's still buried under stuff that's not quite put away in my newly rented house and shoot something awesome for week 27.  :)

Thanks for sharing in my adventure!



  1. Wow, what a smart photo and one to be very proud of - congratulations on becoming squadron Commander.

  2. Thank you for your service, and am sure all the other servicmen appreciate all that you do for them.

  3. Congratulations on being made Squadron Commander. Thank you for your service.

  4. Congratulations. How lucky they are to have someone so dedicated and enthusiastic about their job. Thank you

  5. Congratulations on your command and I hope you have a successful and rewarding time! Thank you for your service! Oh, and GREAT photo too! :)

  6. Congratulations on your new command. It sounds like a lot of responsibility, but what a great place to be stationed. Great"Official Portrait." You look so proud and happy.

  7. Congratulations!!!! And thank you for your service. That's an awesome photo - can see the joy in your eyes.

  8. Congratulations! You have a lovely smile!

  9. Thanks for the insight into your world. Sometimes we forget that the military is sort of a separate country, with its own culture, and economy and we need people to be in charge of that!

  10. Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work and dedication!

  11. I am so, so, so proud of you girlfriend! You are so awesome and your squadron is lucky to have you!!!!

  12. Wow Jen! Congratulations. It sounds as if you are in a wonderful position. I wish you all the best. And of course I send along a great big thank you to you and to all the men, women and families that you support.

  13. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  14. What a great post and congratulations and most of all thank you for your service!

  15. Welcome to Charleston!! Congratulations on becoming Commander! You've put some life into the FSS!


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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