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Ellsworth Greeting

Ellsworth AFB, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 

QUESTION 

I am bothered by the requirement for all gate guards to standardize their greeting to "Welcome to Ellsworth AFB." I feel this takes away any & all personality of the guards. Prior to the change, I could have a 3-4 sentence exchange with the SF member depending on how they greeted me. If they said, "Good morning." I could return with the same. If they asked, "How are you doing?" I could reply with, "Good. And you?" Lastly, as I took my ID back, I often received a, "Have a nice day." or "Take care." to which I could reply, "Thank you. You too." Now I have no reply & there is no conversation. I am sure this is a downer on SF morale as well. No longer is the human need to be acknowledged fulfilled. Please allow the gate guards to have their own personality as they greet entrants & conduct a very redundant task. It will make the time more palatable for the guards as well as those entering the installation.


Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark
Weatherington
  RESPONSE

First, you are incorrect, there is no policy prescribing this single greeting in all cases.

I expect courtesy and professionalism from every Airman. This is perhaps even more important for those responsible for the first impression when you enter the installation. The greeting "Welcome to Ellsworth AFB" meets this standard and highlights a well-disciplined civilian and active duty Defender force. Over the last week, I have received many positive comments on the professionalism of our Defenders at the gate.

Our Gate Guards are not limited to this single formal greeting only, and are authorized a brief exchange with members as they come through the gate when traffic permits. I encourage you to find your own creative way to respond to our guards and thank them for their service.