By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Comptroller Squadron hopes to increase camaraderie among Airmen with its new challenge board.
The challenge board allows Airmen to vie against each other in a competition and the Airman who issues the challenge decides the event.
They created the challenge board May 12 after Airman Samuel Sam, 50th CPTS financial operations technician, challenged an Airman to a push-up contest.
“After Sam did that, a few people got in on it,” said Staff Sgt. John Candelario, 50th CPTS financial operations flight chief. “[Master Sargent] Mollison encouraged everyone to jump in and, since last week we’ve been doing [challenges.]”
Maj. Justin Gabbard, 50th CPTS commander, said this helps the team meet connectedness the guidelines of Col. James Smith, 50th Space Wing commander, and allows Airmen to learn about one another.
“It’s a way to make sure we’re connected and learn different things our teammates excel at and it breeds the competitive spirit,” Gabbard said. “We try to be the best squadron we can be and that starts with everybody competing in their own way.”
Airmen do not win prizes in their competitions and it varies slightly from Wing Staff Agencies challenges.
“What we have in the comptroller is a little more of a free-for-all,” Candelario said. “[Airmen] can challenge anyone to anything and we’ll get as many people together as we can to do activities as a unit.”
The idea is to build cohesion while establishing strong bonds. Leaders in the 50th CPTS understand they can’t efficiently complete their mission without a connection.
“The more we know about each other around the office, the easier it is to solve challenges,” Gabbard said. “It creates conversations that are separate and distinct from the work force and shows the value of those conversations.”
Master Sgt. Jonathan Mollison, 50th CPTS superintendent, shares the same views regarding the challenge board and how activities develop cohesiveness among Airmen during each activity.
“That conversation jumps into their children or how life was for them growing up,” he said. “Who knows where the conversation goes, but you get to see another side of Airmen other than a professional background. It builds unity.”
Airmen displayed their unity as the six participants from 50th CPTS encouraged each other to deadlift heavy weigh during their competition at the indoor running track May 19, 2020.
The challenge propelled Staff Sgt. Johnathon O’Brien, 50th CPTS budget analyst, to deadlift a personal-best 504 pounds. The 50th CPTS also held a golf putting competition and rubber band shooting contest.
“We’re a young organization and trying to teach younger Airmen to compete maturely while doing these competitions is motivating and uplifting while encouraging the best from one another,” Gabbard said. “That’ll translate to professional problems we have to tackle.”