Commentary

July 13, 2012

Resiliency: A challenge at any pay grade

By Chief Master Sgt. Kurt Schmidtman
57th Operations Support Squadron

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Promotion to chief master sergeant is often seen as one of the ultimate accomplishments in an enlisted members’ career. Yet as a Chief, it can seem like one is expected to be impervious to outside pressures simply because we have years of experience in dealing with personnel issues of every description.

In my experience, proud Air Force members of every age and grade stoically absorb every manner of stress until there is an event that makes the “water rise above the nose.” Then, and that is still a maybe, Airmen might seek help.

I discovered the hard way this is the wrong approach.

My tenure here is my only experience as a Chief. Upon arrival from Aviano Air Base, Italy, with my wife and high school graduate daughter, we were greeted with a break-in to our only automobile, resulting in the theft of my PCS briefcase. This had our medical records in it.

Then, we purchased of a lemon of a used car, and experienced the shock associated with acclimating to the USA via a downtown high rise apartment in Las Vegas.

This was compounded by the loneliness experienced by my daughter and by her anxiety about heading off to college, which coincided with my spouse’s disappointment in being undervalued following her obtaining her bachelor’s degree in a depressed economy.

I took this all in and factored my own “shock and awe” at the Air Force responsibilities I was assuming, along with some moderate financial issues our family was facing, and slipped, ever so gradually, into depression.

My reaction to depression was a shutdown of what seemed to me to be “non-essential” efforts, in deference to keeping a grip on the most important aspects of my life: my family, followed closely by the U.S. Air Force.

Unfortunately, the “non-essential” effort I chose was staying physically active. Without a corresponding change in diet, I ballooned to an unacceptably heavy state, which literally made it difficult to tie my shoes. This trend was a real threat to my career and in result, to my family.

From this low point, my family and my chain of command, with the help of Air Force programs, united to save me from myself.

My family encouraged me, without being a pain, to make changes and gave me extended encouragement for minor victories.

The chain of command gave great support while holding the line, maintaining standards. It was very therapeutic knowing that neither my or the unit’s integrity ever came in question.

Counseling and fitness programs further aided me in making the life changes, which culminated in my losing 40 pounds, cutting 5 inches from my waist, reducing my run time 3 minutes and improving my relations at home immeasurably.

Now, my service to the Air Force has never been sweeter.

I hope no one else has to travel down this road to visit the lows that I have. Instead, I simply ask that you take my word that early identification and becoming a willing participation in the management of problems may give you great satisfaction without the burden of my experience.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed

Safety pursues diligence to preserve a safer future

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Master Sgt. William Camp, 57th Wing safety NCO in charge, holds a hydraulic pump gathered from the remains of an F-15C Eagle in the crash yard on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Ma...
 
 

14th TS displays cyberattack defenses

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight, and win in the air, space and cyberspace. For the sixth year in a row, the Air Force Reserve’s 14th Test Squadron — a fully integrated operational testing partner within the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center here...
 
 

Joint, total force space team highlights learning opportunities during Red Flag 15-2

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — A joint, total force representation of Space Operations experts gained beneficial experience during Red Flag 15-2 from Feb. 26 to March 13 here. This was the first linked exercise with tactical, operational and virtual tactical participants, according to Lt. Col. Trae York, director of Space Forces for 12th Air Force and...
 

 
DT4

LRS fuels Nellis’ mission success

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airman 1st Class Patrick Fields, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribution operator, refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstra...
 
 
doctor

Ask the Doc

Q. What’s my priority for care at a military hospital or clinic? A. Access to care at a military hospital or clinic follows the priority order below: 1. Active duty service members 2. Active duty family members and transition...
 
 

Community Happenings – March 27, 2015

Pharmacy services to consolidate: March 23, the main outpatient pharmacy at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center will be undergoing reconstruction and will move operations to the satellite pharmacy. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2016. The new location is in Bldg. 340, next to the Information, Tickets and Travel office and...
 




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