By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 12, 2020
Second Lt. Ian Diebert (left), 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron casual, pours coffee for incoming personnel at the entrance of the Koritz Clinic May 8, 2020, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Due to the potential stress enhancers that COVID-19 has caused, the 14th Blaze Medics Morale Council has been consistently looking for ways to uplift the morale within the 14th Medical Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)
Staff Sgt. George Mills (right), 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Public Health Flight non-commissioned officer in-charge, and Senior Airman Tiebout (left), Medics Morale Council Vice president, hand a 14th Medical Group dental clinic worker a coffee May 8, 2020, inside the Kortiz Clnic on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 14th Blaze Medics Morale Council came up with an idea called the `morale walk’ in which volunteers go around the entire medical center to pass around treats to the workers and spread positivity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)
Staff Sgt. George Mills (right), 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Public Health Flight non-commissioned officer in-charge, pours coffee into a cup May 8, 2020, inside the Koritz Clinic on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. This walk-through also celebrated Mother’s Day as the volunteers took the time to find mothers who work at the 14th Medical Group to give them special made cards to honor them and all that they do. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – In light of the pressing times that COVID-19 has presented, the 14th Medical Group has come up with a way for Airmen and civilian workers to know that they are appreciated and united.
Since the outbreak the 14th MDG has implemented screening processes throughout the day, changed shifts that vary by flight, and put personnel on-call for after hour’s emergencies.
Due to these potential stress enhancers caused by COVID-19, the 14th Blaze Medics Morale Council has been consistently looking for ways to uplift the morale within the 14th MDG. One of the ideas they implemented is called the `morale walk’ in which volunteers go around the Koritz Clinic to pass out treats to workers in order to spread positivity.
“As we all know COVID-19 has been no joke and it has affected everyone's workload, social settings, childcare, health, and all kinds of different aspects of life,” said Staff Sgt. George Mills, 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Public Health Flight non-commissioned officer in-charge. “Unfortunately, this problem will continue to grow and can be threatening to everyone’s morale. Considering this, some members of the council conduct walkthroughs every other week just thanking people for their sacrifices and providing anything that may boost morale such as treats and uplifting messages.”
The morale walk evolved into a bi-weekly occurrence every Friday where some of the council members go around and visit all of the medical center. As the weeks went by, the walkthroughs changed to switch up the treats being distributed, adding various message handouts or offering coffee as they walk around the medical center.
Senior Airman Robert Patterson, 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Mental Health Flight technician, sees the council members as they go around the clinic and describes their walkthroughs as a good way to brighten his day as well as a chance to see other people in the 14th MDG.
“Especially now when everyone is having to practice social distancing, I think it is a good idea and very thoughtful of them to come up with this,” said Patterson.
Mills and Senior Airman Tiebout, Medics Morale Council vice president, are the ones who decide on what morale booster will be conducted that week. Once decided, they notify the council on the time, ask for support and gather materials needed prior to the walk. The two Airmen report into work at their normal schedule and during the designated time, reserve a cart, and begin the walk around the 14th MDG.
On May 8, the walkthrough also celebrated Mother’s Day as the council members took the time to find mothers who work at the 14th MDG to give them personally crafted cards to honor them and all that they do.
“It is a rough time for all of us,” Mills said. “Considering this, I would encourage other groups to seek opportunities to continue uplifting morale no matter how small. We all have an obligation to look after each other.”