Photo: U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 23rd Maintenance Group pose for a photo at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, June 17, 2022. The Airmen used Unite funds to host a paintball and pizza event. Unite funds help cover the cost of recreational activities for active duty, reservist and civilian employees in each unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Deanna Muir)
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE – U.S. Air Force leadership developed the Unite Program to provide opportunities to build cohesive units.
U.S. Air Force leadership recognizes that squadron-level units are the beating heart of the United States Air Force and have to be the cohesive, highly-capable force the nation needs.
The Unite Program was developed to provide squadron commanders maximum flexibility to deliver recreational opportunities that build cohesion for personnel and covers active duty, reservist and civilian employees (appropriated and non-appropriated) in each unit.
The program at Moody Air Force Base is run by the 23rd Force Support Squadron community cohesion coordinator, who works to unite Airmen by providing resources to facilitate activities.
“This is a way for squadrons to take care of Airmen directly with funding,” said Jarrod Garceau, 23rd FSS community cohesion coordinator. “Take them somewhere, go do something, and have a little bit of fun.”
Garceau and Stafford agree that Airmen around Moody spend a lot of time focusing on the mission but also understand the importance of building relationships with their team.
“I think it’s a huge incentive for us to get everyone together,” said Capt. Jacob Stafford, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C pilot. “Now you’ve got something that is not a financial burden on an individual or the entire squadron. It allows everyone to be excited and participate.”
Through the Unite Program, the 74th FS participated in paintball and axe throwing.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to get everybody together and realize it’s just another human across from you,” Stafford said. “It was senior officers against everybody and it really built that morale. There’s a lot of serious parts of work and a lot of things you have to be focused on and fenced in for, so it’s nice to let your hair down.”
Stafford went on to explain how team-building events bridge the gap between junior-enlisted Airmen and leadership.
“You definitely see an impact on the performance,” Stafford said. “Bringing them together and allowing them, over time, to bond allows for a more cohesive unit.”
Each squadron has Unite funds available to them and Garceau hopes more units will utilize this resource. Moody has on-base activities, such as axe throwing, paintball and an escape room, but off-base activities are an option as well.
“I love this program,” Garceau said. “As long as Airmen use these facilities and give feedback, someone is listening. We will figure out a way, if it’s feasible, and we can try to bring it to the base. It is all within the realm of possibility.”
For more information on the Unite program at Moody or to find your unit’s point of contact, call the community cohesion coordinator at 229-257-9059 or visit www.moodyfss.com/unite.