News: Deployed postal members resynchronize at conference
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - At Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, postal members and staff from around the U.S. Army Central area of responsibility gathered for the Theater Postal Conference June 5 and 6. They met other members, discussed the structural breakdown of the field and reaffirmed confidence in how to execute their mission.
As stressful as living in a deployed environment may be, there is one thing that can nearly always lift a Soldier’s spirits, and it comes in a box labeled “United States Postal Service.”
Although the men and women who work behind the scenes get those boxes to their recipients are rarely visible, the product of their work is tangible in the hands of the thousands of service members they serve once they receive their packages.
“Postal is quality of life,” Brig. Gen. Duane A. Gamble, deputy commanding general of the 1st Sustainment Command said speaking to a mass of postal Soldiers. “There is a conditioned level of trust that our mail is going to arrive, and I think that speaks for you all.”
At Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, postal members and staff from around the U.S. Army Central area of responsibility gathered for the Theater Postal Conference June 5 and 6. They met other members, discussed the structural breakdown of the field and reaffirmed confidence in how to execute their mission.
The event also served to create stronger networking opportunities among postal members according to Spc. Demarcus Watson, a human resources specialist and postal clerk with the 461st Human Resources Company came from Jordan to attend.
“We’re learning systems that will help us collaborate better,” said Watson. “The [Automated Military Postal System] tracks everything from transportation to operation. We’re also using AKO to communicate and track standard operating procedures.”
Conference members were also there to synchronize postage handling procedures as well as discuss upcoming changes in the network. They attended multiple classes over the two-day event including a preparation course for absentee balloting procedures.
As logistics-heavy as the postal system is, it is important that everyone is on the same page, said Watson.
“What people don’t realize is that this skill set is not a [military occupational specialty],” Gamble said. “We have entire units built upon this additional skill identifier. I think it’s important for people to understand that the Soldiers and noncommissioned officers that are running these post offices are committed professionals with an additional job outside of their MOS.”
Postal units are some of the few Army units built around additional skills. Human resources specialists attain the additional skill identifier by completing a course at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Gamble told the members that although they may not receive daily recognition for their work, they should be proud to know that they are making a difference in peoples lives.
“Its like the general said,” said Watson. “Even though I’m not in the spotlight, I know I’m bringing happiness into peoples lives. That’s all you really need.”
Conference aside, Watson and his cohorts may not see that spotlight often; but, when that care package arrives, there will always be a subconscious appreciation for the men and women who made it happen.