JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas --
April 25 is Administrative Professionals Day, one day out of the year to pay tribute to the administrative assistants, secretaries and other office professionals who work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure the success of their organizations.
At Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph’s 12th Flying Training Wing, administrative professionals perform duties that are critical to mission success – from managing commanders’ schedules and booking travel arrangements to coordinating daily operations and handling in-processing and out-processing for squadron members.
Lt. Col. Gabriel Arrington, 12th Operations Support Squadron commander, commended the devotion and expertise of Veronica Parks, 12th OSS office management assistant.
“With over 100 civilians operating in 16 different offices, three runways, and supporting AETC's 'Pilot Training Next' in Austin, Texas, Ms. Parks is an invaluable team member that enables each OSS specialty to succeed,” he said. “We couldn't do our jobs without her.”
Arrington said Parks, with her broad background of experience, her vision and her clarity, “is the glue that holds our daily operations together.”
Administrative professionals throughout the 12th FTW are the “glue” that provides continuity in everyday operations.
“For myself and all the civilian staff that are in a similar position, what we do adds to the well-rounded culture and character of our respective offices,” said Margie Castle, 12th FTW commander support staff administrative assistant. “What we do gives continuity to an environment that is ever-changing and that overall is pretty significant in running these offices efficiently and effectively.”
For Castle, working at the 12th FTW brings back childhood memories.
“I grew up around airplanes and talk of airplanes, flew with my dad in his little Cessna and spent a lot of time at airports,” she said.
“When I was real young – maybe in elementary school,” Castle continued, “I used to sit at the old typewriter outside my dad’s office at the airport and pretend I was the secretary. Maybe this career path took a hold of me early on and it just stuck with me. My dad passed last November; working here and seeing all the aircraft always reminds me of him and his appreciation of flying.”
Maricris Reyes, secretary to the 12th Operations Group commander, was influenced to serve through the service of her husband, whose military career spanned 24 years.
“When I married my husband more than two decades ago, I fell in love with the Air Force way of living, so much so that even if I didn't serve as an active-duty military, I made sure that I would take up work as an Air Force civilian,” she said. “This is the environment I thrive in. It gives me joy to serve those who serve.”
Marvin Strange, 559th Flying Training Squadron executive assistant, also sees the joy in his job.
“Working in a flying unit has always been a lot of fun,” he said. “My favorite part of the job is the flexibility and/or autonomy to utilize the necessary resources to accomplish a variety of duties on any given day. It’s satisfying being part of a team and being able to help accomplish the mission.”
The military way of life has always been a constant in the life of Mechelle Pelletier, 558th Flying Training Squadron unit program coordinator. She was a military brat, went on to serve her country as a military member and is a spouse to a Wounded Warrior.
“The military has been an essential part of my life and even when I separated, I decided to return to work by working for a federal agency so I can help active-duty members and veterans,” she said. “Each day I know that I have assisted members of the squadron in their duties, directly or indirectly.”