OKINAWA, JAPAN – The Exchange Pacific Region Senior Enlisted Advisor, Sgt. Maj. Arnaldo Muniz, scheduled for a permanent change of station soon, speaks about his time at the Exchange during his exit interview, Sep. 9, 2017.
Since beginning his tour of duty as the Pacific Region SEA in January 2016, SGM Muniz had the unique opportunity to get to know the inner workings of the Exchange and get a better understanding of what the slogan “We Go Where You Go,” really means.
“I had a front-row seat to see how the Exchange is able to support troops all over the world, even in the more remote and austere environments of northern Australia, South Korea, Camp Fuji, Guam and Saipan,” said Muniz. “Something that I truly enjoyed was experiencing just how much pride and ownership the Exchange associates have in their work. I’m very proud to have served in an organization that fosters such high levels of hard working and caring employees.”
Part of his role as the SEA was to build, strengthen, and maintain relationships between military organizations and the Exchange. Muniz was able to reach out to many organizations across the Pacific Region and across all branches of service. Sgt. Maj. Mario Fields, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade Sergeant Major, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, said of Muniz, “[he’s] an inspirational leader who was dedicated and committed to doing whatever he can to support all service members from his position of influence. He was extremely approachable, positive, and embodied the Army and Exchange ethos.”
The 374th Mission Support Group Superintendent at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Chief Kiley Scholl, remarked, “From my perspective, having an engaged relationship afforded both organizations the ability to take care of the families of Yokota as well as allowing the Mission Support Group to keep moving our mission forward. Without that open communication and teamwork, we may not have been able to take care of both critical missions.”
Muniz has left a lasting impression on the Exchange. His professionalism and dedication to the Exchange mission will be a challenge to replace, but Muniz has some advice for the next SEA, “be open-minded and learn as much as you can from everyone, no matter their position or what they do – Exchange employees have a wealth of knowledge. Be willing to do more with less. Expand the support of the Exchange across the region and be creative.”
The Exchange will soon be saying their last farewells to Muniz in late-October 2017 as he’ll report in as the 553rd Combat Service Sustainment Battalion’s Command Sergeant Major at Fort Hood, Texas. Losing a valuable member of the team due to a PCS is inevitable and expected. And the hope is that value was added while they were there and that they can take something with them when they go. Sharing his parting thoughts, Muniz said, “as I move forward, I can truly say that the Exchange has opened my mind and given me a better understanding of how the organization tackled all kind of challenges and how they plan, organize and mobilize resources to overcome any obstacle they encountered. Seeing how the Exchange approached those situations has motivated me to get smarter and build knowledge in the logistics field so that it will help me through my career and beyond. It’s been an honor and privilege to be part of the Exchange and watch ‘Family Serving Family’ in action.”
Members of the National Defense Transportation Association and the Exchange stand for a group photo after spending the morning enjoying a tour of the Exchange Okinawa Distribution Center. In the photo, from left to right, are: Louanne Takahasi, Delta, Phillip Roberson, Deputy G4, Marine Corps Installation Pacific, Sgt. Maj. Arnaldo Muniz, Exchange Pacific Region Senior Enlisted Advisor, CynthiaMcKeague, Defense Representative GSA Japan-Okinawa, Kila McKeague, Duty Officer, 733rd Air Mobility Squadron, Jeovany Garza, Exchange Okinawa Distribution Center Manager, Lt. Col. Scott Stahl, Director, Regional Contracting Office, Marine Corps Installation Pacific, Col. Scott Maskery, Exchange Pacific Region Commander, Anthony Anderson, Deputy Director, Base Property Control Office, Marine Corps Installation Pacific, Joshua Watson, Director, Base Property Control Office, Marine Corps Installation Pacific, Shawn "Doc" Murdoch, Duty Officer, 733rd Air Mobility Squadron, Robert Miller, Okinawa CDC Manager, DECA, and 2nd Lt. Sung Suh, Assistant Officer in Charge, MC-130 AMU, 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron.