SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – It’s not usual for base residence to awaken to early-morning cadence calls and shouts of encouragement from airmen on early morning physical training runs. But this morning, the sound of energetic music, laughter and about 75 U.S. Transportation Command personnel competing in physical and mental fitness challenges emanated from the parade field beginning at 6:30 a.m.
The command’s first “emPower Hour,” led by Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Marty Klukas, USTRANSCOM senior enlisted leader, served as the kickoff event for this quarter’s command focus on empowerment. Each quarter, a senior leader leads activities — including a professional reading club, keynote speakers and more — focused on a virtue aimed at bolstering a culture of customer service and collaboration within the organization.
“We’re kicking off [the empowerment quarter] with a [physical training] event because I believe empowerment first comes from within and I also believe it’s a complete mind/body/spirit experience,” said Klukas. “I believe that a big part of empowerment is attitude and in order to move forward, you’ve gotta have that energy to make it happen.”
Participants in today’s events pumped up their physical and mental energy by participating in running, strength, flexibility and problem-solving challenges. Activities were structured so people of any ability could participate at a standard modified for their needs.
“Chief Klukas had the perfect attitude…do what you can on each event,” said Navy Capt. Brenda Holdener, USTRANSCOM inspector general. “You decide, you make the decision, empower yourself! It was a perfect way to start the morning and to start the quarter...energize yourself and take charge!”
Added Air Force Master Sgt. Dee Clark-Riley, USTRANSCOM chaplain assistant, “Empowering people to creatively ‘think out of the box’ to achieve a goal gives them pride and ownership of the final results. They are connected and the goal becomes personal.”
Additional activities to help define and encourage empowerment, including another emPower Hour, are scheduled over the next few months. Klukas’ book selection for the quarter is “The Energy Bus,” by Jon Gordon. He has information gatherings scheduled to meet with command staff who are reading the book.
“We want you to know that we value the knowledge and dedication you bring to your job and we support the decisions you make and the ideas you have for making the Command better,” said Klukas. “Let’s come together right now and take the first step toward a more empowering culture.”
Participate in the next physical training “emPower Hour” on Aug. 7.
- USTRANSCOM -