Maintaining your home away from home
Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- Working late hours, early mornings, or somewhere in between, airmen at Kunsan Air Base expect to come back to their dormitories to relax and unwind, not to face issues in what will be their temporary home for the remainder of their tour.
It is the function of Airman Dormitory Leaders to take care of issues within these facilities as well as the more than 2,500 residents who occupy them.
“Our main focus when airmen come home after their long day at work is to make sure they come home to a peaceful, quiet, safe environment where they can relax,” said Staff Sgt. Ian Money, 8th Civil Engineering Squadron airman dormitory leader. “I could tell you who 80 percent of the people are living in the dorms and exactly what room they are in because it is my job to know. I know this building in and out as well as the people.”
ADLs strive to improve the quality of life for airmen in whatever way they can. Throughout the week, they are constantly out of their offices to fulfill work orders, assist tenants and ensure the dorms are being properly maintained.
“An abnormal day would be if your ADL is in their office,” said Money. “Day-to-day we’re in-processing and out-processing members, performing maintenance and walk-throughs of the facility, meetings, and self-help runs.”
The office hours of most ADLs is stated as 9-5 p.m., but their support is often called upon outside of these hours.
“Even though our office hours say one thing, we’re just like everybody else,” said Money. “We’re 24/7, weekends and holidays. People can sometimes overreact to problems, especially during the holidays, and they’re not sure who to call. They can call their ADL; we’re always there [to help].”
Residents can always help themselves too by reading and complying with directive emails from ADLs, which provide up-to-date information on various situations pertaining to the dorms.
Airmen are also authorized to perform minor maintenance on issues within their quarters as long as it does not violate dorm policies.
In cases where airmen need special assistance for room maintenance or even lodging allowance issues, they should seek out their ADL for support.
“Before acting, whether it has to do with specific allowance questions or self-help projects, direct all questions to the ADLs and housing office,” said Money.
Other supplemental programs such as bay orderly assist ADLs in keeping the dorms as clean as possible while also identifying problem areas. However, ADLs remind us that it is not meant to be a personal cleaning service for tenants.
“The bay orderly program is to help maintain the facility, not pick up after its residents,” said Money.
In addition to keeping their rooms in order, residents are also highly encouraged to secure their living space and report any concerns they may have.
“If you notice issues around the facility, whether in the laundry room, dayroom, staircase, or outside the facility, let us know so we can get it fixed,” said Money. “We do walk arounds, but we don’t get to see everything.”
Kunsan currently has 13 ADLs, which presents a gap in the occupant-to-ADL ratio.
“We are significantly undermanned,” said Money. “It is supposed to be around 120-140 occupants per ADL, but at one point I had between 300-400 residents. Our manning is around 50 percent, but we make due.”
With that said, ADL openings are available for qualified airmen to fill, but applicants must go through the selection process first.
“If you feel like you’re ready to get out of the Air Force, it may change your mind because you really do make a difference when you get to help people,” said Pulley. “It’s a new experience out of my career field, and I’m stepping into another base doing something different for myself and others.”
For more information on qualifications and applying to become an ADL, airmen can visit the Assignment Management System on the Air Force portal. Under the enlistment assignments tab, click on equal plus information. Under the drop down menu find the AFSC labeled 8H000.
Note: Only staff sergeant selects and above are eligible for this position.