Last month I had the opportunity to work with Federal employees at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The thought of working in a potentially hostile environment would make some people uneasy, but it was definitely not the case with the personnel I had met. These Federal employees, both male and female, were motivated, had a strong work ethic and were dedicated to the mission.
The fact that these employees had volunteered to live and work in such austere conditions immediately displayed a certain level of motivation in my eyes. These men and women are vigilantly working alongside our members of the Armed Forces to ensure the mission is accomplished. From the moment I landed, I found myself working 12-13 hour days just trying to understand the dynamics of the mission and some of the tasks the organization was trying to accomplish. It appeared as if they were trying to complete so much with such limited resources, yet somehow managed to get them done.
What also surprised me was how much more money contracted personnel made in these high threat areas. They would make two or three times more than the average Fed, have much of that tax free and enjoy plenty of perks. Taking all of this into account, I realized that these Federal employees believed in public service and were dedicated to the mission. They had a vested interest in seeing their organization succeed and the mission accomplished. The operations tempo is always high in Southwest Asia and many Feds in the theater, similar to our Armed Forces, are away from their families and work long hours for 6 or sometimes 7 days a week. I hope others will take note as this experience speaks volumes about our deployed Feds/Service Members and the kind of people who are dedicated to the mission and their country.
Shaun Khalfan, Strategic Planning Committee
Young Government Leaders