Five-star fitness: Two 62nd SVS programs earn highest grades

  • Published
  • By Tyler Hemstreet
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 62nd Services Squadron recently earned Five Star status for its outdoor recreation and fitness programs here. 

The award, which is given by the Air Force Services Agency, provides annual recognition and acknowledgement for bases that have reached the highest standard of achievement in all aspects of program management, AFSA officials said. 

The program recognizes excellence in the five areas of operations, programs, training, facilities and customer service. 

After receiving four stars last year, the Adventures Unlimited staff worked hard to make the jump to five stars, said program director Josh Boisvert, 62nd Services Squadron. 

"It was just a matter of looking at the benchmarks, asking ourselves how we can get [to the next level] and putting together a cohesive vision," Mr. Boisvert said. 

He also praised the support from leadership that helped to push the effort along. 

The fact that some staff members completed additional wilderness medicine and rafting training also helped the program achieve Five Star status, Mr. Boisvert said. 

"It's all about providing extra service for our customers, even if it means stepping outside the box a little bit," said trip director Gabe Laramie, 62nd SVS. 

The staff also worked hard to enable customers to sign up for trips online and direct program funding so that new skis, snowboards and boats could be purchased, Mr. Boisvert said. 

"We are here to cater to the needs of Airmen," he said. 

Despite being one of the smaller fitness facilities in the Air Force, the fitness center earned Five Star recognition, said Bill Johnson, 62nd SVS fitness center director. 

"We've done the best we can to work with what we have been given," Mr. Johnson said. "It has forced us to work harder in other categories, but we did it." 

With the support of leadership, the fitness center staff has used some innovative thinking to get the best possible use out of its facilities and keep it operating at the Five Star status, Mr. Johnson said. 

The staff converted some of the extra racquetball courts into rooms that give Airmen more opportunities to use strength equipment mach-ines, while still providing the Air Force-required minimum of four courts. 

The center also poured extra effort into adding amenities such as the only artificial-grass athletic field in the Air Force and an inline hockey rink, he said. 

In 1998, AFSA realized the need for a formal fitness recognition program. As a result of combined efforts from base, major command and agency personnel, the Five Star Fitness Center Recognition Program was established in 2002. 

Following the initial success of the program with fitness, libraries established their Five Star recognition program in 2003, followed by outdoor recreation, aero clubs and bowling in 2004, and golf in 2005. 

Eighty-seven fitness, library, outdoor recreation and golf programs were distinguished as Five Star for 2006 by AFSA officials, recognizing their high quality and trust. 

Thirty other Air Force bases achieved Five Star recognition in fitness, while 18 bases achieved Five Star recognition in outdoor recreation. 

(Information from an Air Force News article was used in this story.)