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NEWS | Sept. 12, 2008

Taking care of our dorm residents

By Master Sgt. Jeffrey Bise 316th Logistics Readiness Squadron First Sergeant

One of the most exciting and anticipated expectations in a young Airman's career is living in the dormitories. It's this first encounter outside of basic training and technical school where Airmen get to truly have their own room and privacy! 

With our current economy, especially with gas prices as high as they are, living in the dorm is the best deal going. However, Airmen have a responsibility to maintain their quarters, just as they would if they were living in apartments outside the installation. 

Whose responsibility is it to ensure our Airmen are maintaining their quarters? The Commander? The First Sergeant? 

Well, in a sense maybe; however, first-line supervisors and flight supervision need to know what's going on in this area of an Airman's life. 

Commanders and First Sergeants are always interested in the morale of those Airmen residing in the dorms. Some questions they may ask are: 1) How is your room? 2) Do you have everything you need? Or 3) What could you use that you don't have? 

When was the last time, as a supervisor, you asked your Airmen how their quarters were or if there wassomething they needed to improve their quality of life? 

If you are not asking, how will you know? 

When was the last time you visited your Airmen's dorm? In accordance with AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure in Chapter 4, para., NCOs are to frequently visit dining facilities, chapel centers, recreation facilities, dormitories, and enlisted clubs to familiarize themselves with their subordinates' off-duty opportunities and living conditions. Supervisors should become involved and ask questions. 

Furthermore, as stated above, supervisors should be putting eyes on where their Airmen live. 

Senior NCO's should renew their emphasis, to get out and visit their Airmen; not only at work, but for those living in the dorms. We need to be taking care of everyone. 

Communication is important. Airmen need to notify their chain of command before any given situation becomes more than they can handle. The chain of command is here to help. If our Airmen are not letting someone know, what can we do to make it right? 

Dorm residents also need to become more involved in the dormitory council. Not only should they address their concerns to the dormitory management staff, but also inform their supervisors, First Sergeants and Chiefs about their concerns. 

When it comes to living in the dormitories, every Airman has a responsibility to fulfill. The dorm is your "home," it's every Airman's responsibility to maintain their assigned quarters to the utmost of their ability. Take care of what you have, because we want to ensure you have everything available to make the dorm experience a positive one. 

With a renewed emphasis by the chain of command, we can all make a positive impact on our Airmen's lives.