Face of Defense: Airman Manages Learning Resources
By Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 29, 2010 Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oswald Steley does everything he can to provide servicemembers deployed here with morale, welfare, recreation and education support.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oswald Steley, left, talks with Air Force Staff Sgt. Gavin Ramos at a base in Southwest Asia, April 8, 2010. Steley is deployed from the 60th Force Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Steley is the manager of the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron's learning resources center here, where servicemembers can check out movies, educational material, music and language CDs and fictional, biography and reference books. He works six-days-a-week, 12-hours-a-day.
"The [learning resource center] is a morale-booster for all our deployed troops," said Steley, who is deployed from the 60th Force Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. "It helps improve the quality of life for people who are far from home by providing movies for entertainment, educational material for college work, training resources for learning a new language and a whole lot more."
Steley not only maintains a hefty volume of material for the center, but also provides on-the-spot customer service.
"I have a lot of customers who come in and tell me it makes them feel a little more at home by having the LRC available to them," Steley said. "I'll usually help them find what they need, tell them a little about what we have available, and make sure their visit was a successful one."
As a services craftsman, Steley supports more than 1,900 deployed servicemembers for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. Support programs cover a variety of areas, and Steley has to be ready to support any one of them in addition to managing the center. Services airmen manage and direct programs, operations and retail sales.
They also supervise and work in appropriated-fund food service and lodging activities, recreation, fitness and sports programs, linen-exchange operations, mortuary affairs programs, honor guard teams and services readiness programs.
They also identify facility requirements and conduct surveys to determine renovation, construction and modernization needs, the job description states. In deployed locations, they establish and supervise bare-base facilities that provide food, fitness, lodging, sports management, recreation, laundry, mortuary services and field exchange operations.
In all the services functions, Steley has to maintain mandatory job knowledge in areas such as accounting procedures, management principles, merchandising, marketing, automated information systems, food service facility operations, subsistence management, requisition and issue procedures, menu planning and lodging operations.
"I've done a lot of different jobs in my more than 15 years in this career field," Steley said. "In services, we work in many different places, and I know all of them. I think the most rewarding for me though was working for eight years as a fitness trainer."
Steley said he wanted to see the world when he left his hometown of Metter, Ga., to join the military.
"Being deployed applies to my original goals to see the world," Steley said. "I've been able to see different cultures and experience the diversity. I've been able to see a lot and have enjoyed every bit of it. I'm glad I joined."
The technical sergeant added that he always has been proud to serve and will proudly continue to do so.
"I serve now so my son doesn't have to," Steley said, expressing the importance of defending America's freedoms, to include freedom of choice. "It will be a choice for him like it was for me."