Veteran safety professional ensures USTRANSCOM's personnel and facilities stay safe and sound
By Michael P. KleimanJuly 10, 2019
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- U.S. Transportation Command operates around the globe. Michael Burgess, assistant facility and safety manager for the command, doesn't work in an area quite so grand, but his, approximately one million square feet of space is larger than most.Burgess ensures USTRANSCOM's seven separate facilities stay safe and sound, enabling the more than 1,700 military members, civil servants, and contractors working within them to focus on mission accomplishment."I enjoy making the workplace effective and safe. I also like fixing things and the project management aspects of the job. For example, I helped coordinate with the contractor and the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron the Defense Courier Division's move from the Global Operations Center to new offices in the command's headquarters building," stated Burgess. "The safety of our personnel is my top -- and only -- priority. A safe working environment for the USTRANSCOM team directly contributes to the command's warfighting readiness and mission success."Some of the safety challenges Burgess consistently encounters across the command's campus includes stacking items too close -- less than 18 inches -- from the ceiling; various walkway and stairwell impediments such as icy sidewalks and spilled coffee; and too many electrical receptacles plugged into one outlet. In addition, during his daily safety inspections, he occasionally has to remind some employees not to replicate the conveniences of home in their limited workspace, as the clutter creates an unsafe situation.Since joining the USTRANSCOM team one year ago, Burgess' efforts in maintaining a safe working environment for his command teammates received affirmation from a base safety inspection team last month. Although the inspectors found seven minor discrepancies that were immediately corrected, the command's safety program earned praise.Serving in the safety profession for over two decades, Burgess also shares his career experience and expertise with the Air Force Reserve as a member of the 932nd Airlift Wing. In October, he plans to retire from the military, achieving 20 years of uniformed service. He looks forward to pursuing his passion, keeping USTRANSCOM's personnel and facilities safe and sound."Safety is everyone's responsibility," Burgess said. "It's a necessity at home, work, and play."USTRANSCOM conducts globally-integrated mobility operations, leads the broader Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, and provides enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.