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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | Nov. 22, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Personnel Issues

Q. I have a question concerning the Department of Defense Management and Appraisal Program, or DMAP, Elements in MyBIZ/DCPDS.

From my last evaluation, I heard that our director was told that that they cannot give us a rating of “5” because upper management told them not to. I thought that elements should be achievable, and you should be able to go above and beyond to have at least the possibility of achieving a 5.

Basically, I heard that to get a 5, we would have to save someone’s life (that is what going above and beyond is according to their standards).

I don’t think that is fair to anyone who is really doing an outstanding job in their jobs and occupations. Shouldn’t a 5 be at least possible to achieve and shouldn’t the criteria to achieve a 5 be known?

Aside from the DMAP inputs, we are still being told to do the old APF Self-Evaluation. What is the purpose of moving to the new DMAP and online evaluation system if the staff are required to use the old forms? What is the purpose and what will the old forms be used for (since we cannot get a 5 rating anyways)? This appears to be a systemic problem.

A. Thank you very much for your question. First and foremost, supervisors are absolutely authorized to rate an employee’s performance element(s) and/or overall performance as a 5.

For those unfamiliar with the civilian performance rating system, DPMAP allows supervisors to rate each element of an employee’s performance plan based on three numerical ratings 1, 3 or 5. A rating of 3 signifies that the employee is meeting the requirements of the element and is fully successful at that element. A rating of 5 is achievable by creating/implementing new or more efficient processes, programs, ideas, etc. that provide evidence of working beyond just what is required for that element.

Often, when employees are providing their personal feedback they are reiterating the content of the element itself, and combined with the supervisor’s observations are determined to be meeting the requirements of the element, which is appropriately rated as a 3, fully successful.

In terms of feedback forms, your program may have additional internal self-evaluation forms that request feedback from you to assist supervisors with making changes within the management of the program, but are also meant to create prompts to assist you with developing the feedback you can provide within the DPMAP system.

I encourage you to have candid and open discussion with your rater and/or supervisor to fully understand the rating criteria, as well as provide transparency within your chain so that you can perform your duties as required, and know what steps to take to go above and beyond.

Q. I retired after working for more than 31 years as a government employee, and I was hired at JBSA-Randolph a Civil Engineer in August.

However, I have been earning only 4 hours of annual leave per pay period since then and believe I should be earning 8 hours. I have been waiting to have my Service Computation Date, or SCD, calculated for over a year, but it has not yet occurred.

I have inquired about this issue several times during the year from Personnel, Civilian Pay and several other offices, and none of them has been able to provide any information. Every time I have inquired, they have told me that they are waiting on my “personnel packet.” Nobody has been willing or able to provide an office or point of contact for me to call regarding this so called “personnel packet”.

I know you are a very busy person, but I would appreciate it very much if you would give me a person’s name and phone number for me to contact about this issue.

A. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. Our Force Support Group Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. Rahsul Freeman, is personally looking into your situation and ensuring that everything gets sorted out. Please feel free to contact Lt. Col. Freeman directly at rahsul.j.freeman.mil@mail.mil and he’ll take great care of you.

Installation & Facilities

Q. At JBSA-Randolph, is there any way to open the west gate at 5:30 a.m. or 5:45 a.m.? Some contractors and military personnel need to be on base at duty station at 6 a.m.

However, the Main Gate always has a long line in the morning and the West Gate does not open until 6 a.m. By the time the West Gate opens, the line is quite long at both the main and west gates on the north side of the base.

A. Thank you for question on gate hours, as gate operations and traffic flow are a top priority for JBSA Defenders.

The biggest factors determining a gate’s accessibility and hours are traffic volume and available manpower to assign to gates. We’ve looked at opening at 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. in the past and found that the peak morning volume actually begins after 6 a.m.

Unfortunately, opening some gates earlier comes at the cost of opening other gates later or not opening at all. By having at least one 24-hour gate at all installations, everyone with a 6 a.m. shift start has the opportunity to report on-time.

While that may be inconvenient to some, it provides an acceptable balance of security to availability for all gates given the number of Defenders we have. As traffic volumes and our manpower pool change over time, we will adjust gate hours and accessibility to maintain that balance.

Q. I’ve noticed that the fine Airmen at the JBSA-Randolph main entry gate seem to be in animated conversations with each other the majority of the times that I drive up, even across lanes if multiple lanes are open.

I have felt like I am interrupting their conversations. I think everyone entering JBSA-Randolph should see laser focused, undistracted security personnel, and receive the same professional courtesy.

A. Thank you very much for your input regarding our Defenders at JBSA-Randolph. Our Defenders continually strive to present the utmost professionalism and top notch security. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to engage with our Airmen to ensure they remain a proud, professional first line of defense at our gates.

Q. I am writing to express my deep concern for the traffic situation at the JBSA-Randolph main gate. Every morning by 6 a.m., there is a line a half-mile long in every direction.

People get frustrated and tempers are flaring. I’ve witnessed at least two near head-on collisions every morning as people get fixated on getting through the intersection and fail to pay attention to the oncoming traffic, or they just run the red lights because they are frustrated with sitting through yet another cycle.

One simple solution that would go a long way to alleviating this problem would be to open the third lane at 5:30 a.m. One reason the traffic is so heavy at this time is that the earliest most non-shift workers can report to work is 6 a.m., and it appears there are many who do report, or try to report, at 6 a.m.

It doesn’t matter if you get in line at the main gate at 5:30 a.m. or wait until two minutes before 6 a.m. and go to the East or West gate, you end up at work at about the same time.

Opening the third lane at 5:30 a.m. would reduce the wait times for traffic entering the base while causing minimal additional workload on the security forces personnel.

A. Thank you for your question and proposed solution for JBSA-Randolph’s entry control.

Our Security Forces team works closely with the Texas Department of Transportation to adjust traffic lights off of the installation in response to traffic flow and surges. Additionally, Security Forces allocates additional manpower to gates to avoid safety concerns due to traffic.

If you are interested in learning more about Security Forces operations or have specific questions, Hunt Housing offers “Coffee with a Cop” every first Friday of the month at 9 a.m. in the JBSA-Randolph housing office. Security Forces leadership addresses concerns or feedback presented by attendees. Thank you for the feedback, and hope to see you there!

Miscellaneous

Q. We live on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, but every base struggles with the giant voice being understandable. Is there a way that residents can sign up to receive text messages that tell us what the giant voice is saying?

It would be helpful for residents when the base is on lockdown or weather warnings are being issued. Not everyone uses social media platforms, making Facebook notices or tweets unhelpful.

A. Thank you for your concern, as we understand that it is often difficult to hear the Giant Voice system. The Giant Voice is intended to notify personnel, who are outdoors, of a situation that may require their attention or action.

If personnel are indoors, they will not be able to hear the system clearly, and this is where our AtHoc notification system kicks in. All individuals with .mil network access are able to update their AtHoc profile with their contact information to include home phone, personal cell phone and personal email where they can opt to receive notifications.

You can also add additional phone numbers to your profile so that family members without .mil access can receive the notifications as well.

In addition to phone calls and emails, the AtHoc app is available for anyone to download and receive notifications. Once the app is downloaded, you are able to access the system using the email address that was updated in your profile.

Once AtHoc verifies the email address, personnel should enter the Mobile App Code: AFEMNSAETC. This will update the location for JBSA and ensure that you will receive pertinent information, such as lockdown or weather warnings, as applicable.