Commentary

August 23, 2012

It takes a village to fight depression in our Air Force

Commentary by Maj. Rene Saenz
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Surgeon General’s Office

We believe as Airmen that we belong to the greatest service and institution in the world. This is ingrained in us from the time we take the oath and every day thereafter, until we separate or retire. Time after time we understand and accept the challenge that there is a very small margin for error. In fact “excellence in all we do” is one of our core values. This motto helps save lives and keeps us striving to be our very best. This acknowledgement comes with acceptance, respect for the service, and dignity, yet we continue to stretch our force to its limits.

I have been in the Air Force for almost 13 years and continue to see our Airmen wearing more hats of responsibility than ever before. With the pressure to do more with less (give a 100 percent, plus some), there is no doubt that something has to give.

We often say in order to be a good “wingman” we must recognize the signs of depression in fellow Airmen that could potentially be at risk, but the fact of the matter is that we often lack the time to be the “wingman” we need to be or use to be. The “wingman” concept has been a tried and true method of helping each other since our service has been in existence. The same is true for the traditional Army “battle buddy” concept model. Maybe it is time for a different approach? Maybe we should start taking the approach of “wingmen” and “battle buddies.” This approach should start from the service members supervisor or primary rater to the Airman’s fellow co-workers. The service member should feel that he or she can trust, not only his or her fellow Airmen but trust in their leadership as well.

So I pose the question. Should we continue to depend on a singular “wingman” or “battle buddy?” Or should we all take ownership, starting with our leadership to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression by immersing ourselves with our fellow Airman and battle buddies from time to time. In this age of social networking and constantly sending messages via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., I believe that it is time that we make a concerted effort to remove ourselves away from our desks and computers and listen to our fellow Airmen and battle buddies on a personal basis. The “human touch” or “factor” can never and should never be replaced by technology.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward for base inspections

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward known as the Air Force Inspection System – those three things sum up what members of the Desert Lightning Team should take away from last week’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection. The Air Combat Command Inspector General Team conducted the 355th Fighter Wing’s Capstone event, known as a UEI,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Reel)

The last bite

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Shake, take, salute and pose for a photo–Tyndall’s 2014 March Enlisted Promotion Ceremony was carrying on as usual. I raised my camera, waited for the grip and grin moment and then...
 
 

When keeping it real goes wrong

It’s Tuesday, and after a long day at work I’m reminded that I have an intramural league basketball game tonight. After arriving home and quickly changing I make my way back to the base gym to avoid the scrutiny of my coach and team mates.  As I begin to search through the maze of a...
 

 
email-pic

The impact of a simple email

It’s been a long day. I’m tired, worn out. It seems like the emails just won’t stop. Review this, update that, and the ever dreaded tasking that was due yesterday. One after another they attack my sanity, chipping away a ...
 
 

Leadership stresses importance of keeping families informed

The Air Force’s on-going force shaping initiatives affect more than our Airmen–they also affect our families.  The concerns and questions Air Force families differ from those of a service member. Family members have few opportunities to engage with commanders and experts and large auditorium briefings and pages of personnel documents are not always the most...
 
 
computer-hands

Think before you act: It only takes a second for your actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure y...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin