SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
In his 33 years of time within the Air Force Reserve, Master Sgt. Tony Loving has witnessed many changes, as well as been involved in making improvements within processes over time. He is the NCO-in charge of personnel systems in the 932nd Force Support Squadron.
“I didn’t become an air reserve technician until I was 40, so I worked in the civilian sector all that time. Then, when I became an ART, it was after working at other places. I wanted something more stable,” said Loving.
When thinking of how the organization and the reserve is being reformed over time, he thought of the Continuous Process Improvement (CPI).
“We just went through the CPI event. One of the problems we have is when people leave, 55% of them aren’t out-processed,” said Loving. “There is paperwork you have to do, there are things you have to shut off when you leave and some of these people weren’t doing that, which causes a problem.”
Loving went on to explain how they are improving the ongoing issues for everyone with the help of Staff Sgt. Taylor Angeli, Tech Sgt. Brad Briertonand, and Master Sgt. Danielle Phillips.
“We just had the event, we’re going to brief it in July, then try to implement it and [have it] finished by October,” said Loving.“If you go out to the wing EIM page at the bottom, you will see a button for central deployment, man-power and we’re going to put on a third that says out-processing.”
Loving discussed how this will be beneficial to the 932nd Airlift Wing. He stated that if you go to the page, no matter how you’ve decided to leave the Reserve, you can click a button and it will give the information that you need to know.
“For example, in the past somebody just leaves and they don’t out-process properly. If they don’t turn off their [Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance] then it keeps going and they incur debt. There’s nothing we can do about that so hopefully our new process will alleviate most of that,” said Loving.
Spending 33 years in the Air Force Reserve and partaking in organization reforms to help fellow Reserve airmen can become stressful. It is important to find a good work and life balance. This is where Loving’s passion for music comes in.
“I started playing music when I was five and have been interested ever since then,” said Loving.“For my birthday, my dad got me a guitar. Nobody had showed me how to play, so I dinked around with it for a few years, then I went and finally bought an electric guitar when I was 16 and taught myself how to play.”
Loving has been a part of a band called Brother Hiram for 7 or 8 years now. He plays guitar and mandolin on stage. The group plays locally every last Friday of the month and every first Saturday. These aren’t including all the other gigs they book, even in other states.
“We have two music CD’s out,” said Loving. “The band put a CD in 2014 and I put out a solo album in 2015.”
He has production and timing experience that helps in Reserve projects too. When asked how he maintains a good work to life balance, he had a wise remark that he tries to live by.
“A long time ago I got some advice from somebody and he said when you go home you have to take your work hat off and leave it outside the door. That’s how I try to live,” said Loving.“I try to separate my work and civilian life without having either of them intrude.”
He spoke of how he actually writes his own creative songs, paints when he can and just picked up the hurdy gurdy (instrument) to play for a new, fun hobby.
Overall, Loving is seasoned in experience in both the Reserve taking care of customers in the unit and in music. He displays passion and strong character in all that he does and shows that in his work as well on stage with his band.
Loving also discussed how music not only benefits social life, but work life as well. “Music helps because it keeps people sharp in their math and vocabulary centers of the brain. People that play music tend to act and think younger as well. And I need all the help I can get,” joked Loving.