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NEWS | Feb. 6, 2013

Secretary reaches milestone in civil service career

By Airman 1st Class Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

As the secretary for the 437th Operations Group commander, Karen Bevis manages the calendar schedule and administrative functions for a 14-member staff. But looking back at her career, she never imagined when she began working at Charleston Air Force Base, that she would still be working in civil service 40 years later.

"I was never keeping track of how long I have actually been working here until someone asked me," said Bevis. "I was amazed so much time had already passed. I have always enjoyed my job, so the amount of time that I have been here never fazed me."

Born and raised in the Charleston area, Bevis attended Trident Technical College, where she received her secretarial degree. From there, she focused on getting a job at the Air Force Base.
Bevis began working at Charleston AFB Jan.10, 1973, but she has not always held her current position.

"My first job on the base was as a clerk stenographer at the Joint Test Force for C-5A aircraft," said Bevis. "The position was only temporary and there was a hiring freeze going on at that time, but I knew I needed to find a full-time position."

"My first permanent position was as a clerk typist in the Supply Squadron for two years," said Bevis. "I eventually started working as a clerk stenographer for Current Operations. Shortly after my time at Current Operations, I became a secretary for Combat Operations in 1979."

Bevis worked as a secretary for Combat Operations from 1979 to 1991, before assuming her current position as a secretary for the 437th Operations Group, where she has stayed for the past 21 years.

Besides managing the calendar schedule for the OG staff, she also creates the daily schedules for the staff and squadron leadership to ensure leadership personnel are in the right place at the right time. She also manages the 'Meet the Commander Program,' serves as payroll timekeeper for the OG staff, divisions and all flying squadrons, and also trains civilians and their supervisors on a new electronic timekeeping program.

"I have always enjoyed working here, especially in operations. I love how the Operations Group is all about missions and moving items where they are supposed to go," said Bevis. "But it is the people I have worked with in the past, and the people that I work with now, who motivate me to keep going. I have learned so much from all the people that I have met in my years working here."

Many things have changed since Bevis first started working at Charleston AFB in 1973.

"When I first began in the civil service, I used a typewriter instead of a computer," said Bevis.

When Bevis is not working, she enjoys being outdoors and gardening, socializing with friends and reading books.

"My favorite types of books to read are biographies, mysteries and dramas," Bevis said. "Especially historical biographies, I have always loved anything to do with history; you learn a lot from past events and people." "The best thing that I have experienced in life is working here, working with these people. It has been amazing; nothing stands still," said Bevis. "There are always interesting, intelligent people that I am working with, and I continue to learn a lot from them."

""It was my pleasure and honor, on behalf of many of my predecessors, to be able to recognize Ms. Bevis for this milestone achievement at my most recent Group Commanders' Call," said Col. Trevor Nitz, 437th OG commander. "As the 437th OG secretary for over half of her 40 years of service, Karen has been the voice and face of the 437th OG commander to many in Charleston. Charleston Air Force Base has been truly blessed to have such a kind soul dedicating so much of her life to public service."

With retirement in the near future, Bevis will have to decide what to do with her free time.

"When I do retire, maybe in a few years, I would like to volunteer at a library and at an animal shelter. It's two of my favorite things to be around, books and animals. I enjoy being active, and that will never end."