News>Law office superintendent selected for INNERview
Master Sgt. Elena M. Lund, 94th Airlift Wing law office superintendent, was selected as the October INNERview because of her dedication and ability to mentor Airmen. This Halloween, Lund is planning to dress up as Lady Liberty. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Senior Airman Elizabeth Van Patten)
by Senior Airman Elizabeth Van Patten
94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
10/18/2012 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- INNERview is a special spotlight for members of Team Dobbins who don't always get recognized for their accomplishments on base and outside of the gates. If you would like to nominate someone, please call Public Affairs at (678) 655-5055 or email the editor at 94AW.PA@us.af.mil.
Master Sgt. Elena M. Lund
Hometown: Temple City, Calif. Job Title: 94th Airlift Wing law office superintendent Years of Service: 16 (10.5 Active Duty)
What does your job entail? My job includes managing and performing legal functions not prohibited by statute and the Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct. Interviewing clients and determining their eligibility for legal assistance. Preparing legal documents and planning, organizing, performing and directing legal services and duties in the arenas of ethics/standards of conduct, environmental, labor and employment, contract, international, operational and fiscal law. Examining, adjudicating, processing and settling claims filed for and against the United States Government. Providing administrative and litigation support in processing and execution of all judicial and nonjudicial matters according to applicable laws and instructions, and the Manual for Courts-Martial.
What do you enjoy most about the position? What I enjoy most about the position are the opportunities I get to interact with members from all organizations on base in accomplishing the mission. I have never ceased but to be amazed by the level of professionalism I encounter from the most junior enlisted to the highest ranking officers. Additionally, I currently work with a very supportive legal team, not only in my office, but in the 22nd Air Force legal office as well as the HQ AFRC legal office. Their leadership makes this position a rewarding experience.
What is the most recent accomplishment you've made in your job? I was awarded the 2011 Outstanding Reserve Paralegal of the Year (aka The David Westbrook Award) for HQ AFRC. This award recognizes the most outstanding air reserve component paralegal of the year based on demonstrated superior initiative, technical skill, training accomplishments or contribution to mission support, exhibition of leadership in the military or civilian community and enrollment in off-duty programs of professional self-improvement.
What's the most difficult thing about being in the Air Force Reserve? The most difficult thing about being in the Air Force Reserve is accepting the fact that there is only so much time to provide legal services to the troops during a drill weekend. Even utilizing effective time management techniques cannot alleviate the fact that two days per month does not allot the amount of time I would prefer to dedicate to providing the troops assistance for all of their legal related needs.
What is your most memorable assignment? My most memorable assignment was at Nellis AFB, Nev. in the early 2000s. I was on active duty then, and the assistant NCOIC of the military justice section. The court docket was always full and there was never a dull moment. In that fast paced environment, I had the pleasure of working with the best team of attorneys and paralegals that I have seen in my career thus far. We were a well-oiled machine.
Before coming to Dobbins, what was your previous assignment? I was an IMA attached to the active duty legal office at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
What advice would you give someone looking to join the Air Force? I would tell them that the Air Force is a worthwhile lifestyle to lead. The Air Force recognizes that quality of life is an immense factor in overall retention and goes the extra mile when it comes to taking care of their Airmen.
What advice do you have for junior enlisted? My advice to junior enlisted is to take care of themselves in regards to physical fitness and mental health. If they aren't in shape both physically and mentally, it makes taking care of their family members, taking care of their fellow Airmen, and pursuing additional endeavors, difficult tasks to accomplish. I would also tell the junior enlisted that their dedication to the Air Force is pertinent.
What challenges have you faced having been a mentor? In my mentoring capacity, I have faced the challenges of mentees who want career progression or a more desirable professional relationship with their co-workers, but are not willing to make any changes to achieve their goal. I can understand and sympathize with them because it is difficult to literally see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. My approach to overcome these challenges is to motivate mentees to be the positive transformation in these circumstances, but ultimately they have to be willing to compromise at some level in order to succeed. I remind them that knowledge and understanding are born of patience, and that applying this thought process is mandatory in making effective changes.
What is the most rewarding part about having been (being) a mentor? The most rewarding aspect of being a mentor is to see mentees who have benefited in their career path from taking my advice. One example that comes to mind is the induction ceremony I attended for one of my mentees who became a Military Training Instructor (MTI).
What would you tell NCOs/SNCOs about why they, too, should strive to be a mentor? I would tell NCOs/SNCOs that they should be concerned with the future of the Corps. After we leave the service, our subordinates will be in charge. We need to provide them with the tools necessary to carry out the mission efficiently. If we are not mentoring our junior members, we are doing them an injustice and potentially setting them up for failure.
What are the best ways to ask someone to be your mentor? My advice would be to seek out an individual who displays the characteristics of a successful military leader versus waiting for them to find you. Junior officers and enlisted are the future leaders of the USAFR, and should take this fact seriously.
How do you (as a mentee) get the most out of a mentor? A mentor's responsibilities never end. My current mentor is a Chief, but I have been mentored by officers as well in the past. I consistently run ideas by my mentor. A proficient mentor will provide you with sincere feedback and address the possibility of the positive or negative outcome a decision or action might result in.
What do you do for recreation? Run 5-k's and take Tai Chi and boxing classes with my teenage daughter, hiking, camping, swimming and relaxing on the beach or at the pool, paint ball wars, dine and hang out with friends.
What's your favorite movie? Bottle Rocket
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I am a licensed Cosmetologist in the states of Colorado and Texas. In the past, I worked as a technician in a professional salon specializing in haircolor procedures.