Story by Amn Parker McCauley on 03/22/2019A 509th Maintenance Squadron Key Spouse Mentor received the Joan Orr Spouse of the Year Award at the Air Force Global Strike Command level for 2018.
Dover Biery, an MRI Technologist with the Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Missouri, is one of the 106 Key Spouses on base. She is married to retired Senior Master Sgt. John Biery, who served as the Low Observable Flight Chief with the 509th MXS.
The Joan Orr Award recognizes active-duty spouses and their significant community contributions.
"I've grown a lot as a military spouse over the years, and I've realized it is a community and a culture that it's very prideful, exciting, and very rewarding if you allow yourself to learn and be a part of the community," said Biery. "I wouldn't trade it for anything."
She was a Key Spouse at Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base, Germany, for four years and has served as one at Whiteman AFB for almost three years, where she mentors up to 10 Key Spouses.
"The Key Spouse program is a collection of spouses that are appointed by their commander," said Biery. "We are under the privacy act, highly trained with continued education throughout the year. Our main goal is to provide information from the squadron to military spouses as well from the base. We want to bridge the gap and include them into the military community."
She explained the roles and responsibilities of the Key Spouse Program. The spouses receive quarterly training through the Airman & Family Readiness Center along with annual briefings on Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for a variety of issues including suicide prevention. Key Spouses also attend financial counseling, OPSEC, new parent services, and many other areas in order to pass on information to the spouses they mentor.
Squadron leadership, including Maj. Philip Rehmert, the 509th MXS commander, nominated her for the award because of her impact throughout 2018. She participated in the Unit Effectiveness Inspection in August 2018 by meeting with AFGSC Inspector General Team to voice concerns and ideas to improve the base. After the interview with the inspection, she was recognized as a Superior Performer. Some of the highlights from the 2018 award period were certifying five new key spouses, assisting junior enlisted spouses through outreach programs, helping create dialog with new airmen, spearheading a new Spouse TAP program with the A&FRC, aiding with monthly spouse social events, and administering the MXS Facebook pages.
"It's quite overwhelming and also humbling, "said Biery. "I'm very lucky to be part of a great team. I have a wonderful commander and senior leadership that really devote a lot of time and support to the key spouse program. I am blessed to have found such a close community that puts so much time and effort in building up not only the Active Duty members but spouses and family," said Biery. "I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to represent Whiteman AFB."