JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Meet Staff Sgt. Markisha Suggs, the October AFIMSC #IAMIMSC Award winner. Suggs is a mental health technician with the Air Force Security Forces Center's Detachment 2 team at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, California.
The #IAMIMSC Award recognizes people whose actions have promoted connectedness and service before self within their workplace or the center. In addition to her daily responsibilities as the NCO in charge for specialty services in the clinical services department, she ensures everyone – including active-duty and civilian Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines as well as the brig’s confined population – feels included, accepted and respected.
We asked Suggs a few questions about being part of the AFIMSC team and promoting connectedness around the organization.
Primary duty responsibilities: As mental health technicians, we conduct mental health assessments that assess new prisoners’ mental and emotional fitness. These assessments are key in ensuring they make a safe and successful transition to general population status. We also take an active role in providing treatment recommendations and developing individualized plans.
What do you like most about being a part of the AFIMSC team?
I thoroughly enjoy just being a part of the team. I am a mental health technician by trade and have been welcomed with open arms by teammates from other career fields (security forces, administration and personnel specialists) here at Detachment 2. We all have different ways of applying lessons learned and sharing our wealth of knowledge with each other which makes us a stronger unit.
Why do you think it’s important for AFIMSC teammates and their families to feel connected to the organization?
I think it gives them a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves. Feeling connected helps when an assignment or task is tough on the personal and sometimes harder on the family. It gives them a sense of why, so they can endure the task at hand and make it to the other side.
What types of connectedness activities or events do you most enjoy participating in and why?
I love activities that encourage connectedness and provide creative approaches to team-building. I like the go big and super grandiose themes, but anytime we can get out of the house and enjoy time with our teammates is a win for me. I also love when we come together as a team and celebrate individual and group successes. I think it is due to the fact that I feed off that energy; when other people are having a good time, I’m having a good time.
What advice do you have for people who are trying to build a better sense of belonging and kinship with their team?
Be bold and go out and introduce yourself! Sometimes, someone is waiting for you to initiate the conversation. Most of the time you will find at least two things in common: we all are working for the military and, my favorite, the struggle is real! We are all people at the end of the day and making connections helps grow a feeling of belonging. Even if you are unable to connect to someone or become the best of friends … at least you have tried and had a positive interaction with another human being!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am very thankful to be a part of an organization that highlights individual contributions to the mission. Sometimes people just appreciate hearing that someone sees what they are doing. Have an awesome rest of the day and keep inspiring the world!