By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen 1st Class Joshua Martin and John Carmichael earned Air Force Achievement medals from Maj. Justin Gabbard, 50th Comptroller Squadron commander, Jan. 31 for their innovation with the unit.
Martin and Carmichael, both 50th CPTS financial management technicians, entered the Air Force as space operators but worked in the financial management section for four and a half months due to delays in their follow-on space training.
“This is the first time this has happened where 50th Operations Support Squadron has had to send us some Airmen,” Gabbard said. “It was so beneficial having them.”
Though both Airmen enjoy working in CPTS, they wondered how long the temporary placement would last.
“Upon my arrival to Schriever Air Force Base, I had already been in the Air Force for two years; I initially came in as a linguist and was reclassed during my training,” Martin said. “So to hear that I would have an even longer wait to get my career rolling was kind of unsettling.”
Rather than complain about their roles in 50th CPTS, both Airmen displayed their capabilities and contributed their ideas to the unit.
Martin automated a previously manual task that occupied Airmen for two hours per day, three times per week. It now takes just an hour per week. It also freed $215,000 in funding last quarter.
“You go on the Defense Travel System [website] and create an authorization that ties up our funding,” Gabbard said. “Let’s say you never go on that trip and the order is just sitting out there. (Martin) created a mail merge system that would see you hadn’t submitted that voucher within 30 days and would automatically send you an email reminding you to do your voucher. That would allow us to pay you and release any funds that were in excess.”
Carmichael also developed a system that helps financial management and will save the Air Force money.
He noticed government orders outstanding (GOO) weren’t always properly distributed. Those orders can’t be reused unless they are canceled or Airmen file a travel voucher.
“Any time a member travels and they haven’t filed a voucher, we come in and say, ‘What happened and why hasn’t this been filed?’” said Master Sgt. Wilfredo Mateo, 50th CPTS flight chief financial analysis. “That’s money we leave on the table if a member doesn’t file.”
Carmichael sharpened his Microsoft Excel skills and learned how to ensure Airmen used GOO properly to make sure money didn’t go to waste.
“[Carmichael] was going through and seeing if those requirements were still valid,” Gabbard said. “And he’d see if that money is still needed, or if we could release it and still put it toward our new mission requirements.”
While 50th CPTS is grateful for what Martin and Carmichael offered, they understand the Airmen won’t permanently remain with the unit.
“Their goodness is two-fold,” Gabbard said. “They get to come over to [financial management] and they get to learn how we operate. The space mission is getting back two incredible Airmen with a little more breadth to them, which I think makes them even more valuable.”
After this week, both Airmen will rejoin 50th OSS to continue training with their squadron after nearly five months with 50th CPTS.