Remaining resilient amid uncertainty
By Col. Bruce Smith, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published November 29, 2011
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- With the recent announcements from Air Force officials regarding civilian workforce restructuring and continuation of the enlisted date of separation rollback program, there is understandable potential for a feeling of fear about the uncertainty of what the future may hold.
While these changes may not directly impact all of us, not one of us is unaffected by these changes - we are in this together as Airmen, civil servants, and wingmen.
We need to focus not on what we don't know, but what we do know. We know that we are the world's finest Air Force because of our personnel, both military and civilian. We know that in order to move forward boldly into an uncertain future, we need to focus on what makes us great and improve upon it - our people.
"It's important, now more than ever, we continue to build our strength," said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. "Good wingmen stay ready for the mission -- physically and emotionally."
It is with this goal in mind we need to stress the importance of resiliency and how the Comprehensive Airman Fitness concept can help all of us stay fit to fight any fight, mental or physical. The recent news and subsequent battle with fear is no less a real fight than being engaged in physical combat.
"Being fit to fight means more than just being physically fit. With all of the demands on our Airmen and their families, psychological and emotional health are just as important to our overall fitness, and to our readiness as a command," said Gen. William Fraser, former Air Combat Command commander.
Some might argue the general's words apply only to Airmen.
The general's words ring true for more than just Airmen in ACC. Our Air Force consists of 10 commands filled with military and civilian personnel who all have one thing in common in spite of rank, age, gender location or education - they are all humans whose lives are affected by their mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.
It's almost certain that some will look at the news and proverbial writing on the wall and think there is no hope.
That hope is not gone. As long as there is an Airman willing to uphold their end of the Airman's Creed, no one will be left behind and we will not fail. We need to be good wingmen, especially today, and watch out for our fellow servants, civilian and military alike. We need to be innovative, conscientious, frugal and resilient as we look to the days ahead. The future may seem bleak, but it is our future. What are we going to make of it?
What is certain is that as we forge the way ahead in these uncertain times, we must fight that fear so as not to let it paralyze us, cause us undue stress or even endanger our wellbeing - we must remain resilient.