Giving Yokota airmen a place ‘where everybody knows your name’
Today in Pacific Spotlight, Stripes talks with Robyn Sleeth, the director of the Services Division at Yokota Air Base, Japan:
How do you measure success for on-base clubs?
Very simple — Repeat customers, smiles on faces, positive comment cards and increased membership.
Have any on-base clubs, at Yokota or elsewhere, competed successfully with nearby off-base clubs? If so, how do they do it?
I don’t really think you can or want to compare the two. Off-base establishments are geared for a specific target market/audience in most cases. AF clubs have a responsibility to a broader market — families, retirees, single unaccompanied airmen (all ranks), airman, junior enlisted, senior enlisted, junior officers, company-grade officers, senior officers, visiting dignitaries, etc.
Is there any difference in what commissioned and noncommissioned officers want in their clubs? If so, what?
Generally speaking, no. Everyone expects great service, quality food, beverage and entertainment. … Like the theme song from “Cheers:” “… where everybody knows your name.”
What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past year?
Two actually: “As Good as It Gets” and “Shawshank Redemption.”
You came to Yokota Air Base, Japan, earlier this year after doing similar work at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. For airmen, what are some of the quality-of-life differences between Germany and Japan?
Everyone should create an opportunity for themselves to visit both countries. … The differences between Spangdahlem and Yokota have more to do with their placement in their respective countries. Spangdahlem Air Base is in a very rural area near several small villages, and Yokota is next door to one of the most populous cities in the world. This naturally is going to make for two very different experiences for our military members. Each has its pros and cons, but both locations have been excellent assignments.
What was your favorite toy as a kid?
A toy drum set.
As an adult?
A Ludwig drum set — although I am without one right now.
What’s your own favorite off-base club in Japan or elsewhere?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to visit any in Japan yet. My fiancée arrives in November so I am sure we will visit a few here. Elsewhere, my favorite club is America’s Bar in Chicago.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
I am here: Yokota Air Base, Japan. I really have never lived anywhere I have disliked. Japan is an exciting place to work and live. Living in the moment has major advantages.
What type of person does it take to succeed at your work?
Someone who likes people and can be receptive to changes.
Who should avoid your line of work at all costs?
Someone who lives in the status quo.
Robyn G. Sleeth
Title: Director, Services Division, 374 MSG/SV, Yokota Air Base, Japan
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