Preserving the Reserve triad: Balancing family, civilian job and the Air Force

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/Apr 2010 -- Every Air Force Reservist is a very effective manager. We all have to balance family, civilian employer and Air Force career responsibilities. Keeping our lives in balance is so important that our commander has identified Preserving the Viability of the Reserve Triad as one of Air Force Reserve Command's four priorities.

Preserving this triad means we must give equal attention to all three critical parts of our lives. We have heard this triad compared to a stool with three legs. If we neglect one of the three legs, the stool will not stand, and we cannot afford to let that happen in our home, place of business or Air Force lives.

Our families are the cornerstone of our existence. Whether our families include spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings or significant others, we must provide them with the necessary support to keep all of these relationships happy and healthy. Neglect in this area of our lives can cause tremendous problems with everything else we do.

Each of us needs to spend quality time with our families away from our employers and military requirements. Blackberries, cell phones and laptop computers have increased our ability to work anywhere in the world, but sometimes we let these tools interfere with the time we spend with those who are most precious to us. Planning time with our families, away from work and the connections to work, provides memories and relationships that will last long after our civilian and military careers are over.

When you return from a deployment, your first responsibility is to join your family and work to normalize your life. You must reintegrate into your family first.

More than 80 percent of the Airmen in this command are individual Reservists, either traditional Reservists or individual mobilization augmentees. These people make up the backbone of AFRC, and without the efforts of this outstanding group of young men and women, we would not exist as a fighting force.

As Citizen Airmen, we need the civilian employers who provide for our livelihood and ensure present and future financial stability. Civilian employers of Reservists are patriots in every sense of the word. They sacrifice a portion of their ability to produce income and company security to allow our warriors to defend this great nation.

By allowing you to take valuable time away from their business, employers provide for the security of all Americans. Make sure you thank your employers for their patriotism and sacrifice that keep us strong and provide our commander in chief with the greatest strategic and operational fighting force on Earth.

Your commitment to this country is evident to me every time I visit a unit or talk to an individual Reservist. Reservists have volunteered to serve this country in every part of the world. You regularly fly missions, deploy to areas of conflict, participate in exercises and provide humanitarian support to those in need.

Many times we are "deployed in place" to cover home station missions, remotely pilot aircraft around the world or ensure the dignified transfer and recovery of our fallen heroes. Each of these missions is just as important as forward deployment, and I am proud of those who serve in the continental United States as well as foreign countries.

We also need to remember we have a military family that needs our attention. AFRC teammates need your support and leadership, so please take time to talk to each other and, more importantly, listen. You will understand better than anyone the concerns that teammates are having and can help resolve many of their challenges because you have experienced the same issues.

Please work to balance your lives to provide equal attention to your family, employer and country. We must ensure we are not neglecting any one of the three main areas of our personal and professional lives. You are excellent managers or you wouldn't be able to balance the three components of your very busy lives. Thanks for being great teammates.