Unite Program Provides Unit Cohesion Funds

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82d TRW Public Affairs

After a couple of years of low-key and virtual events, business is picking up at the Unite Program, and Community Cohesion Coordinator Beth Clements is here for it.

“As we came out of the pandemic, it was like a hibernation,” Clements said. “People are getting more warmed up to each other again and the sky’s the limit. Now that it seems that there are no restrictions, people are fully engaged and wanting to do things together.”

The Unite Program provides funding for recreational events that squadrons use to plan team-building and morale-boosting opportunities to meet the unique needs of their members. The funding consists of appropriated funding used for the recreational activity, and non-appropriated funding that is used to pay for food and beverages.

Clements works with a squadron’s designated points of contact to plan recreational events, complete paperwork, and pay vendors. She leverages her 20 years of experience at Sheppard to offer ideas and advice for a successful event that adheres to regulations and stays within budget.

“I become a concierge between the planning and the approval of the funds to meeting the Unite intent,” she said.

Clements explained that recent changes to the Unite program such as including Airmen in Training in the manpower count for funding and allowing commanders to allow dependents to participate in Unite events expanded possibilities and made it easier for training squadrons to use their allocated funds.

“The first three years, it was permanent party only,” she said. “Well, if you’re doing an event, what are the AiTs doing? We’ve been able to mirror where squadrons can have both the Airmen and the AiTs doing a controlled environment recreational event, alleviating that worry.”

Unite funds are allocated through the calendar year rather than the fiscal year. The funding levels are based on the Unit Manning Document at the end of December of the previous calendar year.

For more information about the Unite Program, please contact Beth Clements at 940-676-2986.