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It's not easy being 'the new kid on the block'

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As we say a most fond farewell to our Mission Support Group Commander Col. Mark Bontrager, it is a visible reminder that we in the military are always in motion, moving in and out of new responsibilities in new places. We all know that it's not always easy being "the new kid on the block."

So with all the comings and goings that each summer PCS season brings, I want to reiterate once again how vitally important it is for all of us to welcome newcomers to Patrick AFB - whether they be military or civilian - with open arms.

I know you are busy; we all are. You have deadlines to meet, projects that need to be done and a "to-do" list a mile long that keep you from doing more than a quick meet-and-greet with a new employee.

Try to stop by your new employees' workspace during their first few days to find out how things are going. Take time to answer their questions and express your pleasure at having the new employee on our team.

Make sure that new employees get a good picture of Patrick Air Force Base and our varied missions and your particular unit's responsibilities. Try to find tasks for them to complete during their first few days, getting them involved without overwhelming them, as they take care of their in-processing checklist.

And keep the new person's family in mind. A new job, a new base, a new city, add up to adjustments for the whole family. Do what you can to ease the transition and help them feel comfortable in the community.

For all the newcomers already on the ground, welcome!

Please take a proactive approach to your indoctrination into your unit. Ask questions. Make suggestions based on your personal experiences and successes. Who knows? Maybe your ideas will help us do our jobs better.

Nothing is written in stone. We continue to improve the way we do business around here because there is no room for error.

I know I am asking much of you. But our country asks more.

And we'll do it. Go Sharks!