Chief’s View: Team Wellness Enhances Team Performance

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command

Citizen Airman/June 2014 -- In my February and April commentaries, I described my first two focus areas: team unity and team opportunities. This issue, I want to again draw attention to my focus areas and discuss the third one -- team wellness. Team wellness is all about our team: America's Citizen Airmen.

In my opinion, there are five keys that encapsulate team wellness. The first key is having a shared purpose. As I also addressed in my team unity discussion, having a shared vision helps the team come together and perform. We should inspire those around us to achieve a common goal.

The second key to team wellness involves focusing on relationships within the team. As Lt. Gen. Jackson mentions in his commentary, knowing people is fundamental to our business. Building rapport with people can directly improve mission effectiveness through strong bonds.

The third key is building an environment where people look forward to coming to work. We should foster professionalism and respect for one another. We all volunteered to serve this great nation as members of a professional force, so our local culture should be a reflection of our values, while balanced with camaraderie.

The fourth key is strengthening the wingman culture by proactively looking out for each other. Sexual assaults and suicides are affecting our Airmen at an alarming rate. Each of you plays an essential role in stopping these tragedies in your units. Noticing when someone needs help and taking appropriate action could make the difference in saving an Airman's life.

Getting people resources to help is the fifth key to team wellness. Programs such as Yellow Ribbon for our deployers and websites like the Wingman Toolkit (afrc.wingmantoolkit.org) are only a couple of programs and resources essential to all Airmen, built around the four pillars of comprehensive Airman fitness. Another valuable resource is the Psychological Health Advocacy Program, available 24/7, which assists our members and their families by locating appropriate resources through free and confidential regional teams.

For more information on team wellness, Yellow Ribbon and PHAP, please see the series of articles in this issue beginning on Page 18.

As a final thought, team wellness enhances team unity and team opportunities. Team wellness helps ensure our Airmen are ready to carry out the mission and take on development opportunities when they arise. Every Airman is a valued member of our team. Be cognizant of your own individual wellness, and keep a watchful eye out for your wingmen.

I'm here for you!