After identifying a COVID-19 positive case, a majority of the regiment received orders to telework at the end of March 2020. However, mission essential U.S. Soldiers continued along in post operations.
Supply Support Activity Soldiers, assigned to the Alpha Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, helped the regiment in COVID-19 mitigation measures during the 14-day teleworking schedule in Vilseck, Germany, from March 31, 2020 to April 13, 2020.
The SSA is responsible for receiving, inventorying, processing, distributing and disposing of the majority of the regiment’s office supplies and military equipment that is utilized by Soldiers and units, making its mission one of the most essential among any section within the regiment.
The responsibility of accounting for an entire regiment’s worth of materials falls on the shoulders of only 21 Soldiers. For these Soldiers, the demands of the regiment require meticulous work and long hours.
Rather than bringing in all 21 Soldiers, Chief Warrant Officer Two Talowa Bunton, the accountable officer, assigned to the SSA, RSS, 2CR, divided the manpower into two shifts. The first shift ran from 8 a.m. to noon, and the second shift ran from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Each shift consisted of no more than 10 Soldiers working at a time. Distributing parts to customers, receiving distribution trucks and processing turn-in materials are among the typical workday tasks of SSA Soldiers.
Bunton stated that despite the revised schedule and implementation of shifts, the Soldiers’ daily work constituted, “business as usual.” The SSA processed and issued over $3.9 million worth of materials and received 300 items of turn-in that returned $1.8 million in credits to the regiment.
Bunton also emphasized the role of her Soldiers’ work ethic in sustaining the regiment’s limited operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our [Supply Support Activity] Soldiers worked very hard and provided the best customer service they could,” said Bunton. “They kept morale high, even though they had to physically come in to work when everyone else was teleworking at home.”
The rest of the regiment has since returned to work, with limited manning or other restrictions applied as needed.