By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Headquarter Air Force/Defense Strategies Institute recognized the 1st and 7th Space Operations Squadron members’ work to strengthen their team and rewarded both for their efforts.
HAF/DSI identified both squadrons as a “best practice for a traditional association relationship and leadership” following six months of surveys and interviews across Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases.
“I take great satisfaction knowing members of Team 8-Ball (1st and 7th SOPS combined nickname) were the ones who told this narrative,” said Lt. Col. James Hogan, 7th SOPS commander. “It really is all about the team in our case, hopefully others can replicate this kind of unity across the Air Force.”
Both 1st and 7th SOPS leaders will speak at an upcoming symposium regarding how all guard, reserve and regular component Air Force units can improve their associations.
“I feel incredibly proud to know leaders at the headquarters are tracking the amazing things Team 8-Ball is doing,” Hogan said. “I am truly blessed to be able to help lead this team in the most exciting mission in space.”
HAF officials conducted anonymous interviews and surveys with the squadrons on how the associations worked together, what benefitted everyone, what needed to improve and what aspects could be duplicated.
Throughout those reviews, both squadrons were repeatedly noted for their combined efforts.
“They provided their assessment reports to Col. (James) Smith (50th Space Wing commander) for 1st and 7th SOPS,” said Senior Master Sgt. Peter Christensen, 7th SOPS operations superintendent. “It indicated ‘Team 8-Ball’ as an Air Force best practice in regards to Total Force associations.”
Hogan detailed some of the work both 1st SOPS and 7th SOPS do to build unity.
“Team 8-Ball does physical training together every week; we train on the mission together, we execute the mission together,” Hogan said. “We have reserve members filling in leadership roles when there is a need and they participate in Airmen life groups.”
Christensen said the 50th Space Wing leadership hopes to create, develop and maintain a culture of teamwork with Team Schriever.
“While Team 8-Ball’s accomplishment is something that started when Lt. Col. Hogan and the previous 1st SOPS Commander, Lt. Col. [Mark] Bigley, took command, it is part of a base-wide culture and is a true example of what all of Team Schriever should be striving for,” Christensen said. “This recognition just highlights what all of us here at Schriever are capable of if we work together.”
Hogan hopes Team 8-Ball continues to follow the mission of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, which is to revitalize the squadrons.