Air Force

July 3, 2014

Being resilient, at all ranks

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Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)
Chief Master Sgt. Dawna Cnota, 355th Fighter Wing command chief master sergeant, talks about the importance of resilience to a group of base chief master sergeants during a resiliency training class for them in Tucson, June 25. The class was designed to give the chiefs resiliency training while they got a better understanding of what younger Airmen are trained on when they enter the Air Force.

When Airmen join the Air Force, they immediately start going through resiliency training to help them overcome challenges they will endure during their military career.

Approximately 20 chief master sergeants gathered to receive resiliency training and grasp what younger Airmen are being educated on today.

“I think it is important for all the chiefs to show their support, said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Lopez, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight chief. “I understand the intent of the message [the Airmen] are taught, but to be able to come and hear what they are being taught, is important to communicate with them.

Vincent Howard, 355th Fighter Wing community support coordinator, led the training. He emphasized that at their level, chiefs have learned how to work through problems, but emphasized that they are never fully resilient. To make his point, Howard shared a personal story from when he was the FW’s command chief master sergeant.

“I had only been the command chief about a week or two, when I was called home and my wife was stretched out on the floor,” Howard said. “She was semi-conscious and then lapsed into unconsciousness. I had to call an ambulance. There is no one, no matter your age or position that can say ‘I’m ready for that.’”

Although not all the chiefs could make the training, those who did felt it was beneficial.

“The Air Force puts a lot of emphasis on this training,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Russell, 354th Aircraft Maintenance Unit chief. “You have to have the chiefs behind this to make sure it is successful.”

The chiefs agreed all Airmen have different stressors in their life, whether it’s relationships, finances or career advancements. The better equipped they are to handle these problems, the quicker they can be resolved.

“When life comes and taps you on the shoulder and says ‘it’s time for a challenge,’ it doesn’t care what your age or rank is.”




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