USAA military affairs representatives reconnect with military members and their families.
Before March 15, 2020, it wasn’t uncommon for a group of USAA employees to spend more than 200 days on the road each year, supporting events around the globe. While the traveling has decreased significantly, the support continues.
“USAA's military affairs is a group of field representatives who work in the field every day, developing and sustaining critical relationships in support of USAA,” explains Craig H., a USAA military affairs representative.
“We are USAA’s ‘boots on the ground,’ responsible for face-to-face activity with our military members, veterans and their families.”
Predictably, the necessary restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic dramatically changed the way the military affairs team operates in the field.
“COVID brought everything to a screeching halt,” says Craig. “Our leadership – with input from the field representatives – quickly devised a plan to allow us to support our membership and installation contacts through virtual opportunities.”
Earlier this year, the MA team gradually began to attend some in-person activities.
“It started out primarily as office visits to reestablish working relationships with the senior leaders of the bases in our individual areas of responsibility,” explains Craig. “Slowly and carefully, as the Department of Defense started relaxing restrictions, so did our USAA leaders.”
The USAA military affairs team is currently operating in a “hybrid” environment – sometimes meeting members virtually and traveling when possible.
Just last month, the team attended Fourth of July events at Fort Bragg, Fort Bliss, Fort Benning, Luke Air Force Base, Fort Hood, Fort Knox and West Point.
“Many of the events were the first time our representatives were back in the saddle meeting with members face-to-face,” says Gregory P., ED, military affairs field operations.“It was great to get back out there and talk about our products, services and membership and reconnect with our military members and their families. And as excited as we were, our members were even more excited to see us. These events were a resounding success because the entire military community has been cooped up for nearly 18 months.”
While the team still hasn’t returned to its previous “battle rhythm,” Craig says the focus hasn’t changed -- meeting members where and when they need us.
“Much like our roles in the military, we are ‘subject to duty’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Craig. “Many of the events we support are held on weekends and holidays. While other employees are enjoying three-day weekends or holidays, our military affairs representatives stay in the field, supporting our currently serving members.”