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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2010

Shadowing the base commander

By Airman 1st Class Shellisa Forbes 316th Force Support Squadron lodging guest service representative

I work as a 316th Force Support Squadron lodging guest service representative, but on Jan. 13, I shadowed Col. Steven Shepro, 316th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander for a day.

Our day started at 6:30 a.m. with CrossFit in the Tactical Fitness Center. Eventhough, I'm not a stranger to the many workout routines, every CrossFit workout is challenging in its own way.

After the intensive workout, I reported to Colonel Shepro's office at 8:30 a.m., where I was greeted by Chief Master Sgt. James Davis, 316 WG/Joint Base Andrews command chief. Chief Davis, Colonel Shepro and I gathered in Colonel Shepro's office for a quick chat about my background, achievements and future goals.

At around 9 a.m., we took a casual drive around the base checking for discrepancies and on beautification projects. We also stopped by a few offices and the Main Gate to make sure that everyone was well taken care of.

Once back at the office, we met with the "Warrior of the Week" from the Travel Management Office, recognizing her for superior customer service.

After that meeting, we headed to the weekly wing standup meeting with commanders and representatives from various organizations who briefed Colonel Shepro on the status of upcoming activities scheduled to take place on base.

We then attended the 316 WG staff award ceremony, where star performers were recognized for their hard work.

Throughout my day shadowing Colonel Shepro, there were many things that I observed, appreciated and interpreted as a lesson learned. Being that I am very interested in commissioning, he introduced me to the typical job of an Air Force officer. It helped me to understand the in-depth workings of the base and what keeps everything running.

It was an honor and a great opportunity to experience a day in the life of the installation commander. I appreciated that Colonel Shepro often takes the time out of his day, to visit the different offices on base ... It keeps the Airmen motivated.

All in all, my day with the installation commander was exceptional. It was a memorable experience that I will never forget and would encourage all Airmen to take advantage of if given the opportunity.