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Chief's View: Practice to make wingman concept a way of life, not just a slogan

Chief Master Sgt. Dwight Badgett, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Chief Master Sgt. Dwight Badgett, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Citizen Airman/August 2011 -- My commentary in the October 2010 issue of Citizen Airman focused on Airman resiliency. And since we continue to face issues that increase the stress we all feel, it is time re-visit this topic.

The stress of managing your life as an Air Force Reservist, combined with today's challenges of a weaker economy and normal day-to-day activities, can cause some of us to consider doing things we might not normally do. These stressors can drive normally healthy people to increase risky behavior that sometimes leads to life-threatening situations.

This issue of Citizen Airman provides some great information on how to cope with stress, no matter what the source, and I recommend that you read and accept the help that is offered.

No one is immune to the pressures that come with being a Citizen Airman. However, we have something that the average American does not have to help us cope with these pressures. We have our Air Force family to provide assistance when needed.

Because of our wingman program and the increased emphasis on watching out for each other, more Airmen are asking for help. And that is exactly the right thing to do. You have more than 71,000 teammates in our command and 500,000 total force partners who can relate to what you might be going through. We all have to build our resiliency so that we can cope with this increased stress. When necessary, we need to ask for help from our teammates.

When I visit our units or write in this publication, I continually tell you that you are a valuable member of the Air Force team, and we need you to be physically, mentally, spiritually and socially healthy and prepared to do our nation's business. We must make the wingman concept a way of life, not just a slogan.

So watch out for each other and practice resiliency every day. It will make you stronger, healthier and happier.