Off to a ‘Right Start’

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Victor Caputo
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
This past Tuesday, I went through McConnell's Right Start, the introduction-to-your-base program the Air Force uses to help new Airmen after a permanent change of station. I had heard mixed things about it; after all, a briefing that lasts ten hours can wear anybody out. It really wasn't so bad though.

Multiple people told me that the whole program was more or less a giant PowerPoint presentation, so I wasn't expecting too much more. Right Start's reputation must have gone full circle back to the organizers, because a prolonged PowerPoint slideshow was the furthest thing from the truth regarding the briefing.

The wing commander and command chief were the first people to talk to us, and they introduced us to many base policies and procedures. The thing that stood out to me the most is that they took the time to individually greet us and hear where we came from, what our jobs are and what we thought of McConnell so far.

I am without a doubt one of the most recent Airman on base as far as time-in-service is concerned. I went through basic military training in January 2012, and spent just three months in technical training. I still have a lot of the BMT mindset compared to most people, so listening to, let alone interacting with a colonel or a command chief, is intimidating to say the least. Our base's upper echelon, however, deeply impressed me with the approachability and concern they exhibited for their Airmen.

There were a lot of different presentations, ranging from the Outdoor Recreation Department to the 22nd Comptroller Squadron. The speakers all tried to be as upbeat and creative with their presentations as possible, and a few of them even made it interactive; at one point we were all on the ground doing push-ups.

A variety of pamphlets and information cards were given to all of us. The information was very helpful, especially for myself and the other first term Airmen. They told us about the different education opportunities on base, different programs that can get us involved in the community, and financing information, all of which is exactly what career minded Airmen like myself wanted to hear.

I haven't been on McConnell for very long, but if Right Start was any indication, I think I'm going to enjoy my time here.