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Healthy Work Environments are Paramount

  • Published
  • By Col. John McDonald
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Vice commander
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Pope was the small-town, homey feel that is sometimes referred to as "Americana." It was immediately clear to me that Pope people are special. Pope's Airmen accomplish our worldwide mission day-in and day-out with a sense of pride and professionalism that is truly amazing. I especially noticed the little things that make each workday more pleasant -- the friendly greetings, words of encouragement, the ever-present helping hands. These are all indicators that clearly show Pope is a healthy place to work! 

Pope's healthy work environment didn't just happen overnight. It is certainly a product of the effort each of us put forth daily to ensure all members know they are respected, valuable members of our team. It is evident Team Pope's Airmen fully understand the key to maintaining a healthy work environment is to continue treating each other with dignity and respect. All of our recent organizational successes and individual accolades clearly demonstrate our ability to capitalize on the strength of our diversity and flawlessly move the mission. 

No one will debate the fact Team Pope is heavily engaged in our mission and that you all work extremely hard. It is absolutely inspiring, even though there is no down time, how everybody pulls together to make the right things happen. I would love to tell you the end is in sight, but in reality there are more challenges on the horizon for Team Pope.
The unrelenting ops tempo coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming base realignment implementation are challenges with a potential to affect our healthy work environment. As long as we continue to foster an environment where dignity and respect are paramount, we will conquer the challenges before us in classic Team Pope style -- unequalled in excellence with a small town sense of pride. I have witnessed this first hand! 

Just last week, as I escorted Col. Jon Roop, throughout our base for the Installation Excellence Award inspection, I noticed every person responded in almost the exact same way when asked what they liked about Pope. Their heartfelt answers were spontaneous and clearly revealed a culture which reinforces treating all members with dignity and respect. Tech. Sgt. Amy McClure, 43rd Airlift Wing Legal Office, and Airman 1st Class Brandy Martin, 43rd Comptroller Squadron, summed it up nicely when they expressed the fact they love being here and helping other people complete our collective mission. 

Pope's sense of community permeates everything -- a small town community of sharing and caring that is absolutely required given our incredible operations tempo.
Keep up the great work, appreciate your people, continue to be safe and continue to keep dignity and respect in your cross check. Remember, it's the People, the Mission, and the Motivation that sets us apart!