Clean sweep

Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. -- Living in the dorms gives Whiteman Airmen the responsibility of maintaining government property and keeping up their living areas.

To ensure dorm residents are upholding these required living standards, first sergeants take on the challenge of inspecting the uninspected.

"Room inspections are performed on a monthly basis with a checklist on hand to mark down any discrepancies we find within a room," said Master Sgt. Lafoundra Thompson, 509th Operations Group first sergeant.

Keeping rooms clean is not just an issue of military customs, however. An unsanitary environment can also affect the morale and health of residents. Leftover food and garbage not being tended to can substantially affect Airmen's dorm life experience, and odors which result from soiled clothes, mildew or other various causes can also affect residents.

"You have people who leave pizza boxes and lunch from the dining facility in their rooms and in come the ants; it is not healthy for anyone to have bugs in his or her room," said Master Sgt. Donald Gray, 509th Bomb Wing first sergeant. "Not to mention, they can cause damage to government property. The insects can also spread to your neighbor's room, which causes two commanders to resort to disciplinary action."

Supervisors are encouraged to inspect their Airmen's rooms for morale checks or to see if there is any mold, furniture not being taken care of, or signs of neglect. In addition, group commanders can request quarterly walk-throughs to see how their personnel are living.

If there are any significant discrepancies, the supervisor or group commander can report them to the first sergeant, which could result in disciplinary action.

Whenever resources in a dorm room need repair, the residents can file maintenance requests with the dorm leaders to resolve the issue. Once requests have been made, it is important to follow-up on them to ensure they have been fulfilled.

"Residents are encouraged to report any discrepancy they feel needs to be taken care of," said Gray. "If the problem is not being fixed, elevate it to your first sergeant, and we will try to get the situation worked out."

When first sergeants know dorm residents are taking care of their living areas, they can then focus on everything else they need to do to take care of their people.