Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Dos, don’ts for Airmen during political season
With the 2012 general presidential election only weeks away, Airmen should keep in mind that special ethics rules apply to active-duty Airmen regarding their political activities.
The purpose of these rules is to ensure the Defense Department does not influence the nation’s electoral process. Violation of these rules can have serious consequences and could result in criminal or administrative penalties.
Airmen should be familiar with what is allowed and forbidden regarding political activities.
• Register, vote and privately express opinions on political candidates and issues (but not as a representative of the Armed Forces).
• Make monetary contributions to a political organization.
• Encourage other military members to exercise their voting rights but may not attempt to influence or interfere with the outcome of an election and may not encourage subordinates to vote for or against a particular issue or candidate.
• Sign a petition for specific legislative action or a petition to place a candidate’s name on an official election ballot, but may not self-identify by rank or duty title.
Sexual assault hotline message sent to Airmen
Airmen, separated and still serving, who graduated from Basic Military Training and technical training during the past 10 years were recently sent an email message about an activated sexual assault hotline.
The message is part of a thorough investigation of the military training instructor sexual misconduct incidents in an effort to maximize accountability.
“The email is part of our outreach efforts to current and former Airmen to encourage them to help us uncover alleged unprofessional relationships, sexual misconduct and sexual assault in basic and technical military training,” said Gen Edward Rice, Jr., Air Education and Training Command commander. “The hotline gives graduates from the past 10 years the opportunity to help AETC dissuade, deter, detect and prevent this type of behavior from happening again.”
The hotline isn’t just for BMT graduates; it’s for any Airman who’s a victim of sexual misconduct, said Christine Burnett, AETC’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. All calls can be made anonymously said Burnett.
Building culture to sustain resilient Airmen
Resilience: Merriam-Webster defines it as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
Resiliency is a word used a lot throughout the Air Force, but not many take to heart. They see it, specifically Comprehensive Airmen Fitness, as just a program, but it’s so much more.
“It’s not a program,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Laffitte, the Headquarters Air Force Comprehensive Airman Fitness branch chief. “We’re creating a culture. We want to foster this Air Force community that’s thriving.”
The concept of resilience has been around long before the Air Force. Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers were all resilient members of society who paved the way for many of today’s luxuries, despite obstacles they faced and negative comments.
“There were two brothers — this was years ago — these two guys, they grew up together in the same household with the same mom and dad,” Laffitte said.
Wounded warrior gets help with new battle buddy
An Air Force wounded warrior has a new buddy that is helping him cope with his physical and mental pain, thanks to the Train A Dog – Save A Warrior program.
Staff Sgt. Andrew Goligowski struggles with post-traumatic stress and the pain caused by sarcoidosis, a disease with no cure that causes inflammation in the lymph nodes, organs, joints and other tissues. For Goligowski, the disease strikes his joints at times making it painful to even bend his arms and causes masses in his lungs making it difficult to breathe.
Goligowski was serving as a military training instructor with the 321st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, when his symptoms began. Once a military working dog handler with four combat deployments under his belt, Goligowski was not only in pain, but he became withdrawn and depressed and needed help.
“I didn’t want to do anything,” said Goligowski. “I was grumpy and moody. All I could think about was that I was never going to be able to do my job in the Air Force again; then I’d think about not having a job at all, and having no health insurance.”
The negative thoughts wouldn’t go away. Then he met Mali, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, through the Train A Dog – Save A Warrior program.