LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
El Segundo, Calif -- On Tuesday, May 26th, 18 new team members were sworn in as the newest Department of the Air Force civilian employees for the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). In many respects, it was just another day for Ed Gould, Chief of Staffing and Recruitment, and his team: there was paperwork, SMC “Survival Guides” were distributed, and the new team members, with hands raised, swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. But this time there was one big difference: it was all done virtually.
Since the mandatory telework order back in mid-March, 65 new employees have joined the SMC team through five virtual on-boarding sessions.
The Staffing and Recruitment Team, part of the Office of Manpower and Personnel, have worked closely with these new hires to welcome them to SMC in much the same way they would have before the COVID-19 pandemic. There are questions about parking and paydays, appointment documents are generated, Common Access Cards (CAC) created. And of course, there’s the Oath of Office, administered by Mr. Gould and his Staffing Team, which includes Staffing Specialists Ryan Youngsma and Ebony Lewis, via webcam.
On-boarding efforts such as finger-printing and other documentation are but a few other basic processing items conducted by Suitability Specialists Noel Fernandez, Tigran Grigoryan, Jason Oliger, and Roseann Rheault. The Staffing and Suitability teams work hand-in-hand to guide new hires all the way from the tentative offer letter to their swearing-in.
After taking the Oath, the new team members are officially part of the Department of the Air Force assigned to the U.S. Space Force and SMC. Within a couple of days, their Standard Form 50 (SF-50) Notification of Personnel Action is created by the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC), and they are ready to get their CAC.
The CAC process, of course, still needs to happen in-person. Once the proper documentation is in order, the new hires schedule a time to physically complete the on-base registration process with Technical Sergeant Andres Dominquez-Medina, Installation Personnel Readiness Chief, and the ID Office team, all while maintaining necessary precautions and physical distancing. Once this is complete, the new members are ready to work with their units to complete in-processing to start work.
Each new hire is unique, and brings a different level of familiarity with the military in general and SMC in particular. Some are prior service or former Air Force contractors who already know their way around Los Angeles Air Force Base, while others are entering federal service for the first time. In recent weeks, SMC has on-boarded several new team members who were brought on after the hiring event held earlier this spring.
All are joining SMC at an exciting time for military space, despite the current public health crisis, as SMC plays a crucial role in the stand-up of the new U.S. Space Force.
Virtual on-boarding is just one way that SMC is continuing to fulfill the mission of delivering superior space capabilities, while adapting to these new and unprecedented challenges.