For nine months, Sergeant Richard Moore was on active duty; seven of those months in Niger, Africa. During his deployment, he wore his “safety training hat,” something that he wears often at Johnson & Wales in his role as environmental health & safety specialist in Facilities Management, and trained the Forces Armed Niger (FAN), or the Nigerian Air Force, in chemical safety.
“The reason I was given the opportunity was because I’m the Unit Safety Representative (USR) for my squadron,” he says. “Several squadrons fall under a Group. Our Group’s safety manager recognized my civilian experience. He invited me to help him train as part of a week-long program that he was presenting to the FAN.”
The course was delivered to the FAN’s officer and non-commissioned officers. “None of them had ever had formal safety training,” he says. “They were a very receptive audience, and they asked great questions. I was truly honored to teach them.”
Sergeant Moore describes his experiences with the FAN and the people of Niger as a “great host and partner nation. Those I have met like Americans. They are laid back and have a friendly culture.”
The base Sergeant Moore was stationed at plays an important role in the U.S. Military’s operations in Western Africa. “It’s a very small air base, and my squadron runs it. As far as my overall work for the base, I’ve done a lot because it is small. My day-to-day job is to maintain and operate a power plant for our Communications Flight.”
Additionally, Sergeant Moore ran the base post office. “I had no experience running a post office, and let me tell you that people love their mail,” he says. “It’s incredibly important to run it efficiently because mail is important for morale.” In addition, as the USR for the squadron, Sergeant Moore implemented a number of safety and environmental protection improvements.
As a thank you, and to show honor for the university’s support, Sergeant Moore flew an American flag over the skies of Africa and presented it to Johnson & Wales University (see below). Sergeant Moore returned to JWU in September 2018.
Many veterans and current members of the military are represented among our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Thank you for your service to our country.