MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla --
Every day, millions of Americans receive medical care as well military installation access around the world using their military common access cards (CACs) and retiree identification cards.
The 6th Force Support Squadron ID Card Section at MacDill Air Force Base cares for more than 115,000 individuals on the base and in the Tampa Bay area alone including federal civil servants, civilian contractors, retirees, disabled veterans, as well as active, guard and reserve military members.
These professionals who create and maintain these cards work tirelessly to keep the force mission-ready and care for those who have previously served.
In order to serve this large populous, their 10-man ID card section team sees on average 225 people per day. Each Airman alone sees about 30 people a day and on average dedicates 15 minutes to each appointment.
“We take care of customers one at a time to relieve them of any ID card issues they may have to include: card expirations, promotions, DEERS [Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System] updates, reenlisting, retiring and pin resets,” explained Airman 1st Class Lakeisha Cohn, a personalist with the 6th Force Support Squadron (FSS). “We update all their personal information and issue them an ID card if needed.”
Along with solving ID issues, these Airmen ease the minds of military members and their families by communicating policy changes, rules and regulations.
“Our main job outside of making ID Cards is to calm the worries of our members, because while we do make ID cards, we also update DEERS for family members,” said Senior Airman Manique Johnson, a customer support technician with the 6th FSS. “We insure their benefits are still current, information is accurate and process paperwork for family members living out of the state.
“When service members don’t have to worry about their family members’ medical coverage, they can focus on the mission at hand.”
Although faced with busy schedules, these Airmen balance respectful and rapid service.
“Often people come in here upset with a problem and they want you to solve it, but at the same time, they just want to be heard, so you have to treat them like you would a friend or family member,” explained Johnson. “How you interact with the customer and how you feel about it will reflect onto them, so a positive attitude will set the tone for how that interaction with that customer goes.”
A mission-ready Air Force requires Airmen to not only be able to access proper locations, but to have a mission-focused mindset. The ID card section Airmen are here to ease service members’ minds and to let them know their families will be taken care of.