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The defining difference in services

by Lt. Col Kwan McComas
6th Services Squadron commander

The history of Services dates back to the Revolutionary War when billeting and feeding the troops served as a fundamental necessity. During WWI with the establishment of a huge "citizen" army, the United Services Organization (Inc.) was founded which included library services, troop canteens, and sports programs. In 1920, the Army Motion Picture Service was established, with the service clubs established during WWII. Services' roots sprang up from the supply and civil engineering career fields and then branched off as its own entity. In 1993, the agency was renamed, "Services," focusing directly on what its programs were all about----service.

Webster's Dictionary defines service as "a help or benefit" and "the act, fact, or means of serving." To the 6th Services Squadron, however, this word has a much broader meaning as each letter in the word represents, in part, the overall mission of Services.








Success and Satisfaction

Support: The 6th Services Squadron is here to support by providing recreational and morale programs. Military life isn't always easy and Services is a welcome relief when it isn't. Extending our programs to the families help ease the burden of separation, remotes, and long working hours. Just ask any family how important quality child care is to them when both parents are active-duty or when one parent is deployed. Knowing one's children are being cared for in a nationally accredited child development program eases the stress and frees the service member to give 100 percent toward the success of the Air Force mission.

Excellence: Where would Services be without this integral core value? To strive for and succeed with excellence in all we do is a goal taken seriously. MacDill 6th Services has established a record of excellence reflected in the awards won. From "2002 Best Golf Program in the Air Force" to the "2002 AMC Gen LeMay Award" to the prestigious "2003 AMC Innkeeper Award," MacDill Services goes above and beyond its daily mission to ensure customer satisfaction in all areas of services facilities. Readiness: Services' readiness is our most important mission. 6th Services never slows down; lodging stepped up to billet over 156,000 guests in 2002 when events after 9/11 sent the military community scrambling and many of our own Services personnel quickly deployed to meet the needs in the field.

Value: The quality of life initiatives that Services provide such as club member discounts, fitness programming and free golf lessons for active duty troops have proven time after time to be one of the highest contributing factors of troop recruitment and retention. People are the foundation of our Air Force and how we take care of them is directly linked to our ability to keep them motivated. Very few organizations offer the incentives and benefits that the Air Force does.

Initiative: Establishing new programs and growing with our military community's needs is a top priority. Listening to customer feedback on comment cards and conducting customer satisfaction surveys on Services facilities sets the wheels in motion to initiate ongoing improvement. Offering free continental breakfasts on weekends during the winter season, improving the reservation system, and installing additional landscaping were just a few positive initiatives implemented from a special FamCamp survey conducted recently. The quality of life for our airmen must be of utmost concern if we are to maintain a committed, dedicated force.

Community: Services programs help to establish a feeling of kinship, family and belonging that draws our community together in support of each other. Family dinner nights at the Clubs, Outdoor Rec trips, and Extreme Bowling on Saturday nights, are just a few ways families can come together socially in support of each other. The commonalities of military life coupled with mutual appreciation, commitment, and sacrifice, sets our community apart from those outside its gates.

Exclusive: The pride we share and the benefits a military life offers are exclusive to our community. The ceremonies and traditions particular to the Air Force lend a certain charm not to be experienced just anywhere. It binds us to each other throughout our lives no matter where we are stationed or who we are stationed with. Our base Honor Guard continues to uphold these traditions on a daily basis in the role it serves during these special events.

Success/satisfaction: Air Force life has a lot to offer and Services is just one small part of the whole picture. We shouldn't underestimate the value it provides for unit cohesion and contented families. Services plays an integral part in the overall mission of the Air Force. Our families do not see Services and MWR activities as benefits but rather consider them essential to the success of military life, and we, at the 6th Services Squadron stand ready to serve.




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