The very best, like no one ever was

U.S. Air Force graphic by 509th Force Support Squadron Marketing

U.S. Air Force graphic by 509th Force Support Squadron Marketing

Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. -- Welcome to August, Team Whiteman! It’s a new month and that means another First Friday is waiting for you at Mission’s End Club this afternoon. As the 509th Force Support Squadron (FSS) commander, I am especially excited about this First Friday’s theme of Pokémon, and not just because I’m a level 9 Team Instinct player myself, but because Mission’s End provides us the venue to celebrate our heritage. Like our custom designed Pokémon t-shirts say: “Whiteman AFB … The Very Best Like No One Ever Was!”

Being the very best is what we do as members of the profession of arms. We give our all, we exercise our core values in everything we do. And if you haven’t thought about it before, becoming a Club member is one demonstration of that professionalism.

When you go to First Friday tonight, I hope you’ll take advantage of the free buffet if you’re already a member. And if not, I hope you’ll fill out an application. Club dues start out at just $4 and increase based on rank, but even the most costly categories will easily make up their dues cost in savings and benefits. But to me, Club membership isn’t so much about the financial benefit as it is about the professional responsibility and the support I give my community.

Club membership says “I’m all in”. It’s the same as being a member of any professional or civic organization like the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Military Officers Association of America, alumni associations, local rotaries, etc. It’s also a military tradition. As a military dependent myself, I remember my dad telling me how his commander encouraged Airmen to be Club members. Club membership also offers professional networking and camaraderie. Without the Mission’s End Club and events like First Friday, it would be significantly more difficult to build our sense of community, share stories, learn and laugh together.

Also, I know that Club membership really means Whiteman community membership. Though we call it “Club dues”, your dollars go directly into the pot of funds called the MWRF, or Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund. To those who say they don’t like the Club as much as the Golf course or the Bowling Center, still Club dues support those facilities and more. Dues go right back to Whiteman.

If you were here for the Independence Day celebration just recently and enjoyed the fireworks and games and zip line and petting zoo, that was free to Whiteman, but paid for in part with Club dues. Coming soon is our annual Boo Bash before Halloween and Tree Lighting Ceremony before the new year. Again, all ‘free’ to the community, but paid for because of the outstanding support Team Whiteman has offered in supporting Club membership.

As the 509th Force Support Squadron commander, I have the privilege and honor of leading a world-class team dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and programs to promote readiness, ensure esprit de corps, and improving the quality of life for Airmen and their families.

That’s more than just words for words’ sake and every day you’ll see that across our facilities. Today I hope you’ll attend First Friday, join the Club if you haven’t already, and take time to honor our heritage at Whiteman AFB through Club membership.

Every day, Whiteman AFB, you truly are: “The Very Best Like No One Ever Was!”