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New dorm clean-up throws ‘bay orderly’ in the trash

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Wall, 350th Air Refueling Wing, wipes off a coffee table in the common area of the Airmen dorms July 24. Airman Wall, as well as all of the dorm residents, is responsible for keeping the dorms clean by following a “details” schedule that lists cleaning responsibilities. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Lockoski)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Wall, 350th Air Refueling Wing, wipes off a coffee table in the common area of the Airmen dorms July 24. Airman Wall, as well as all of the dorm residents, is responsible for keeping the dorms clean by following a “details” schedule that lists cleaning responsibilities. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Lockoski)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman Timothy Head, 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, takes out the garbage from the gazebo area of the Airmen dorms July 25. Airman Head, as well as all of the dorm residents, is responsible for keeping the dorms clean by following a “details” schedule that lists cleaning responsibilities. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Lockoski)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman Timothy Head, 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, takes out the garbage from the gazebo area of the Airmen dorms July 25. Airman Head, as well as all of the dorm residents, is responsible for keeping the dorms clean by following a “details” schedule that lists cleaning responsibilities. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Lockoski)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The Air Force usually provides its single members, senior airmen and below, with dormitory housing on their respective bases.

In return, the Air Force expects dorm residents to uphold a high-quality standard of living by keeping their dwellings clean and thus maintaining good health and moral responsibility.

In the past, McConnell helped dorm residents live up to the Air Force standard through the bay orderly program. However, every week, the bay orderly program required two Airmen from each dormitory building to leave their normal work sections for five duty days to perform dorm clean-up duty. This left those Airmen's work sections short-handed, interrupted on-the-job-training and interfered with shift-work schedules.

Every unit here with dorm dwellers felt the impact of the bay orderly program at one time or another as Airmen were selected for clean-up duty based on a rotating schedule, which ensured all residents shared the responsibility of keeping their buildings in shipshape.

McConnell still expects all of its dorm residents to share the responsibility of maintaining a high-quality standard of living; however, the base has found new way to meet this criterion with a re-vamped program.

With the new program, which was a past-visualization from Chief Master Sgt. Todd Salzman, former 22nd Air Refueling Wing Command Chief, Airmen aren't removed from their work sections to perform clean-up duty. Instead, they police each other to prevent the dorm conditions from becoming run-down and neglected.

Each of the three dorm buildings at McConnell now has a chain-of-command that includes two dorm chiefs and six floor chiefs. The dorm chiefs make sure floor chief delegate details to Airmen on their respective floors such as sweeping and mopping the floors, disposing of garbage, vacuum common areas and keeping the laundry room tidy. Dorm staff members inspect these areas daily to make sure the jobs are being done. Details are done after duty hours or during lunch breaks.

"The new program gave back approximately 3,840 man hours to the Air Force by eliminating two bay orderlies and weekend details," said Staff Sgt. Gabriel Light, 22nd Civil Engineers Squadron and dorm manager.

Sergeant Light also said that Chief Salzman wanted Airmen to get out of their rooms, meet other Airmen and interact with one another to establish a sense of pride in where they lived and to gain responsibility with a sense of ownership. The new clean-up program allows them to do just that, he said.

"Having a cleaning living area shows the discipline Airmen demonstrate to their peers, supervisors, and guests who visit and tour the base, said Airman Michael Parker, 344th Air Refueling Squadron and dorm chief.

"These are our homes, and pride should be taken into their condition and what we make of living here, he said.
No, Airmen do not have to lint roll the bathroom floors and go back to basic military training style methods of clean-up that may have involved sweeping the floor with flip-flops, or use personal shirts to clean the wall of mirrors in the latrine. They are simply responsible for every day trash pickup, keeping the commons areas clean and the lawn free of garbage.

As the Air Force tests and formulates new ways of cost cutting, and time management operations, McConnell's hope is the new clean up program will return man power to larger mission tasks and also offer more down time to dorm residents.

However, the new program is also designed to help instill personal responsibility in Airmen.

As a result, Airmen who do not uphold the standard can face disciplinary action.

"The same concept applies here as it would if an individual is living in base housing," said Sergeant Light. "If you don't mow your lawn or remove your trash in a timely manner, you get in trouble," he said.

The roles of dormitory resident's supervisors are still in the planning phase, but leaders should recognize the resident's are responsible for more than just their duties at work. If they are not accountable for their dorm duties, they can receive disciplinary paperwork in tasks are not accomplished.

It could be worse; Airmen could be raking rocks out of a dirt courtyard or swapping the deck of a naval ship. Those details consume much more time and elbow grease.

Like with any new program or concept, it will take time to be accepted, Sergeant Light explains.