A 926th Wing Key Spouse is the Air Force Reserve Command 2021 Key Spouse of the Year!
Priscilla Pasillas volunteers with the 379th Space Range Squadron at Schriever Space Force Base, Colo., to provide support for Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families.
The 379th SRS is a geographically separated unit of the 926th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Pasillas credits the program’s success to the encouragement and support the 379th’s leadership provides to her and her counterpart, Cassandra Sanchez, the 926th Wing’s 2020 Key Spouse of the Year. Together, they’ve held an online gardening class for kids, organize baby-supply baskets for expecting parents, and post-lockdown, they hosted a spy-themed Family Day picnic.
“It definitely makes me very proud for the unit that we can do this to help spouses, significant others and family members,” Pasillas said. “It makes me feel very proud, accomplished and great!”
The U.S. Air and Space Force Key Spouse Program (KSP) is a commander’s program created to enhance unit family readiness. The role of the Key Spouse team is to lead that effort by assisting in the building of readiness and resilience, and establishing a sense of community within the unit.
Pasillas married now-Master Sgt. Raul Pasillas, 379th SRS mission assurance superintendent, in 2003, but didn’t become a Key Spouse until a Key Spouse mentor recruited her into the program in 2017. Since then, it’s been her goal to model her mentor and bring people together in an environment where Traditional Reservists and their families can sometimes feel disconnected.
Master Sgt. Jeremy Tafoya, 37th SRS first sergeant, added that another one of Pasilla’s accomplishments was to establish a Gmail account where family members could get in touch with Key Spouses directly.
“This is another option and resource if they want to talk something through before bringing it to the chain of command,” Tafoya said. “It brings up morale and welfare knowing there’s another outlet for family members and spouses.”
Lt. Col. Elizabeth Paget, 379th SRS commander, said the program lets, not only service members, but also their families know they’re supported holistically. A key factor in ensuring success is to maintain communication between leadership and Key Spouses. Paget, Pasillas, Sanchez and Tafoya meet for dinner monthly, when Paget said the leadership team learns from a different perspective.
“They [Key Spouses] keep the pulse of that element, and they bring that to mine and the shirt’s attention to make sure we’re really looking out for our members and taking care of them,” she said.
Paget said that though the 379th’s Key Spouse Program has been successful, she proudly recognizes that Pasillas and Sanchez are always thinking about ways to take the program to the next level.