The best FM office in the Reserve

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeremy Roman, 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

For the third time in four years, the 301st Fighter Wing Financial Management office has been selected as the Air Force Reserve Command’s Comptroller Organization of the Year. We spoke with 301 FW Comptroller Mr. Matt Miller, who has been in FM for 11 years and with the wing since 2016, after their office was selected for 2019.

 

Q: As an office, how does it feel to have your office be recognized as the best the AFRC has to offer?

Miller: We have won the award three of the last four years and it feels amazing. It’s a validation of our team’s hard work and the processes we’ve put in place. I am proud of the way we have innovated in both our customer service and budget operations. I would put our unit against any unit in the Air Force in terms of trying new processes/techniques and making life easier on our customers. We don’t always get it right, but I can assure you we’re trying our hardest and we’re open to new ideas.

Q: Please fill in the blank: When it comes to the 301 FW’s mission to train and deploy combat ready Airmen, the FM office _________.

Miller: Tries to be a Force Multiplier (that’s what FM stands for by the way). We want to stretch every dollar as far as we can and leverage the limited the resources we have. By prioritizing, we get more bang for our buck and give ourselves the ability to better train and deploy our Airmen.

Q: Can you tell me what the environment is like and the type of people work in the FM office?

Miller: We are super supportive of one another. Sadly, we lost one of our civilian Airmen, Ms. Lisa Abram last year. We shed tears and grieved as if she were a member of our own family because she was. She was a member of our FM and 301 FW family. It was amazing to see the outreach within our own organization and across the wing. We received and gave incredible support.

Q: What is something you wish people knew about FM?

Miller: I wish people wouldn’t self-impose limitations when it comes to ideas or wants. I hate when I hear, “I’m not even going to ask FM because we’ll never get the money.” I can’t fund what I don’t know about. Submit your idea and let us do our best to make that idea a reality.

Q: What has been some of the challenges your office faces and how have you overcome them?

Miller: At the moment, systems are our biggest limiting factor. “Big Air Force” recently overhauled several of our systems and now they aren’t working. It has created a huge additional workload and we are working to find solutions.

Q: I’ve heard about the late fiscal year close-out night and how everyone showed up the following morning to work their normal hours. Can you tell me what that was like?

Senior Master Sgt. Tia Kancilia, 301 FW Financial Management Senior Air Reserve Technician and 2019 Air Force Reserve Command FM Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year answered: 

Kancilia: We have an amazing comptroller in Matt Miller. He has organized our programs in a way that makes it quite easy during the year. When you are able to keep up and track your programs to the level that we are able to, closeout usually goes smoothly. It is the 301 FW Budget Office that deserves all the credit for closeout. The 301 FW Budget Officer Mr. Joe Wright and his team are the individuals that stay late (midnight or later) and closeout the fiscal year. We try and keep the atmosphere light and always have a feast prepared to take them through the end.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Miller: I truly appreciate the incredible support we get from wing and group leadership. We are merely advisors and not decision makers. We do our best to present alternatives to leadership that meet our mission needs with limited resources. There a million micro-decisions our leaders make that no one ever sees, but I can assure you they are deliberate, well thought through and many times difficult. Most of the time during the decision-making phase of the process, we know that someone is going to leave with their feelings hurt. Rarely do we please everyone and that burden can wear on a person. I am thankful we have leaders across the wing that do their best to make equitable decisions that move our mission forward.

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