C3 in the workplace and at home

  • Published
  • By Maj. Samantha Haberlach
  • 97th Comptroller Squadron commander
Since May 30, 2012 the Cost Conscience Culture has been a focal point in Air Education and Training Command. The initial statement said, "If each Airman saves just three dollars per day, the command could save $37 million by the end of 2012." A tremendous success, this program led to millions in savings across the command at every level. The results have far surpassed expectations, especially at Altus. But how does that affect you?

Altus is now known for its innovations and initiatives. Per capita, we more than doubled the next AETC base in C3 Savings, saving $71.95 per member. Altus also turned in 93 ideas, the most of any AETC base. This success was made possible by forward thinking teams and innovative personnel, just like you!
The success of the AETC C3 program, saving over $100 million across the command, led to the Air Force's creation of the "Every Dollar Count$" campaign in May 2013 with the idea that every Air Force member should treat our military budget and spending as if it were their own money. Save it! Spend it wisely! Make it last!

Each comptroller squadron has the responsibility to manage pay and funding, ensure the wing follows fiscal law and current spending policy and offer decision support. Often times as a comptroller at Altus Air Force Base, I feel truly blessed. Unlike some of my fellow AETC comptrollers who might feel alone beating a C3 drum at their base, I know the 97th Comptroller Squadron is not alone. From the youngest Airman to our wing commander, everyone has the C3 spirit!

I started this commentary thinking as the comptroller I should share some money saving ideas and help the Cost Conscience Culture spread, giving more ideas of how each of you could help us save a little more. But in the end, I am so very proud to say, the leaders and members of Altus have made that job impossible. How could I advise you to do better on saving at work? You have helped our wing and each of our squadrons achieve new heights in the face of sequestration, budget cuts, overtime cuts, temporary duty cuts, furloughs and government shutdown--wow! You have proved to be the expert in each of your fields and really thought outside the box by finding more economical purchases daily and reducing the waste and figuring out what you need to do your mission and eliminating the "wants."

So I ask you, what have you learned from all this? Challenge yourself to take your cost saving initiatives and efforts developed at work and apply them to your personal finances. We will kick off the "Military Saves Week" on Feb. 24. This is a financial readiness campaign designed to assist military personnel and their families in adopting sound financial management strategies led by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Try treating your personal finances as well as you have treated our Altus AFB budget. Control your expenses, save money for your future and set aside money for emergencies! You do this every day at work, and you have the power to do it at home too. It will improve your credit and do nothing but help! If you take this as seriously as you took on C3, you will only meet success.