Airman 101 - Resilience
By Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Thornell, 144 FW
/ Published October 17, 2011
Fresno -- Airman-101 is a term I'm using to identify those things that every Airman should be aware of and ensuring they are in compliance with to be successful as an Airman in the 21st century Air Force. If you take a moment to reflect back to your first English-101 or Math-101 college class, you recall the many foundational things you learned in that one class that now happen automatically every time you write a sentence or do a mathematical calculation. The information I hope to provide in Airman-101 articles will typically be grouped into one of these four specific categories:
· Career Development
· Airman Resilience
The purpose in Airman-101 is to makes sure we know what we are supposed to do to be the best Airman in the 144th Fighter Wing. As with most things in life, it takes personal commitment and effort for success to happen. If we are personally committed and equipped, this will equip the 144th Fighter Wing to be the best Fighter Wing in the Air Force.
Airman Resilience is the focus of this first Airman-101 article. Resilience is the ability to effectively and positively deal with all the things that come at us in life. It is also the ability to adjust when things take a turn in a direction we did not expect. At different times in our lives the level of resilience needed to cope varies. Presently, our 144th Fighter Wing military life is full of stressors. We have recently failed two major inspections, undergone extensive leadership change, have unit members under investigation, are awaiting a major aircraft conversion, and have renewed emphasis on compliance with Air Force and Air National Guard policies and programs. That is a lot of stuff on our plate and it does not include what is happening in our personal lives outside the main gate!
Each of us has methods to ensure we stay resilient. They are typically in four pillar focus areas: physical, social, mental, and spiritual. As long as we keep our focus areas in use, we can endure what life puts at us. Luckily, I have a great Wingman in my wife Kerry and we are able to talk through all the "stuff" and make sense of it or dismiss it as something we cannot affect. I also am a distance runner so I maintain my stress level through fitness, and I have strong connection to something bigger for spiritual support. I use this example to show that all four pillars are necessary to keep us healthy and on-track in life.
Resilience is the foundational base of Airman-101. Without resilience-strength we can become overwhelmed by all the "stuff" in our lives and lose our focus; distracted Airmen can damage equipment, hurt themselves or others and make poor choices. Luckily, our Air Force has provided great resilience-builders for us with our fitness program, our chaplain services, our morale/welfare/recreation events, medical professionals, and our Wingman program.
As you read this article, look at your personal resilience strength in each of the four pillars I mentioned. If you have a gap in one or more areas, seek assistance to bring that area up to the strength you need to ensure your resilience is rock solid.
Airman-101 is making sure you are ready at all times for what our Air Force needs. Resilience is a basic foundation that every Airman needs. Do you have a strong resilience base as Airman-101 requires? If not, seek the assistance needed to make sure you are ready.