Dorm leaders welcome young Airmen into the AF Family

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, works to ensure newcomers have a smooth and comfortable transition from "pipeline" to "operational" Airman at their first assignments.

Many young Airmen are unaccompanied and destined for the dormitories, so a large part of the transition depends on the dorm management office.

"It's basically the next step in the progression," said David Phillips, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron unaccompanied housing superintendent. "First they have an instructor in basic training, then they have a military training leader in tech-school, and finally they have us, the Airmen dorm leaders, who can act as a guide while they're in the dormitory."

With six dormitories housing nearly 600 Airmen, the life of an ADL is often a hectic one.

"It's a very busy duty because we maintain the facilities, take care of the Airmen, and we are in charge of all the furnishings," explained Phillips. "Our primary duty is to provide a home to the Airmen, but my personal priority is to give them the best quality living conditions with the funds we're allocated."

For this small group of devoted individuals, taking pleasure in doing what's best for new Airmen is what keeps them motivated.

"I really pride myself in being a dorm leader," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Wilson, 366th CES airmen dorm leader. "I like the fact I'm able to be a positive influence and I'm someone Airmen can ask questions of, if they may not be comfortable going to their supervisor, or another noncommissioned officer in their shop. It's a win in my book when they feel comfortable enough to come and talk."

Phillips and his team believe it is vital supervisors have an active understanding of their troops' off-duty life.

"I would like to see more supervisors come by the dorms and see how their troops are living," he said. "As responsible supervisors, they should be aware of their Airmen's living conditions."