Combat comptrollers-your fighting financial force
By Capt. Tim Smith, 459th ARW Public Affairs
/ Published January 17, 2006
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- If one were to ask what a combat comptroller is, a combat comptroller would say not many servicemembers know who we are … at least not by that name. But for the past seven months they’ve been involved in what some reservists would consider somewhat important … their pay!
The combat comptrollers are your fighting financial office. They are deployable and they train to go where needed.
“We’re here to supplement the 459th financial management office during UTA weekends and we’re the combat warriors in the field,” said Maj. Brenda Veal-Munoz, financial management officer. “We’re normally on the first plane in and on the last plane.” In the combat environment they work closely with security forces, foreign embassies and the onsite commanders.
The combat comptrollers are often incorrectly, but lovingly referred to as finance. But Veal-Munoz said the name for their career field has been changed to comptroller for almost 10 years. However the comptroller office does encompass finance, military pay and budget.
While the civilians that work here Monday through Friday are obviously not “combat” comptrollers, they all work together to make one dynamic organization said Veal-Munoz.
Carol Artis, 459th financial manager, said it’s good having them here on the UTA weekend because if a servicemember has a problem, they may be able to handle it then.
“It’s definitely been very interesting to watch this particular unit get off the ground … to see how useful and effective we’ve become,” said Staff Sgt. Claire Brom, financial management and comptroller craftsman who joined the wing from active-duty service.
They’ve been here since April, and they have one officer and five enlisted servicemembers. “We do contingency training, functional training, we support military pay and travel,” said Veal-Munoz. “We want people to know we’re here and we’re here to help them.” And if they can’t help a servicmember by the end of the UTA, they’ll leave enough information for our civilians to help during the week.
This is the first time the wing has had a comptroller office. The comptroller office is part of the wing staff.
The comptroller office currently handles customer service issues to include military pay and travel during the UTA’s; however, we hope to expand our services to include limited budget and government travel card services said Veal-Munoz.
Part of the comptroller office is Technical Sgt. Jacqueline Mack, the shop’s NCOIC. She is the liaison between the 89th Airlift Wing and the 459 ARW while on activation. She is quite essential to wing servicemembers because the 89th processes travel vouchers.
“I ensure vouchers are processed in a timely manner,” said Mack. She can assist if something goes wrong with a members voucher and see if it’s been processed.
Veal-Munoz said some members of the wing are already on to them, but she said many people of the wing still don’t know they’re here. However, they’re easy to find on UTA weekends in the wing headquarters building (Bldg. 3755), room 105.
“We expect to become one of the best comptroller Reserve programs within the Air Force Reserve” said Veal-Munoz.