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Staying on point amidst challenges

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott DeThomas
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
Some call it the "fog of war," but I like to call it daily chaff. You know, the distractions that can sometimes lead to increased tension and anxiety in the workplace or on the homefront.

If you follow the headlines, you know the many effects of sequestration are definitely adding to the stress on Air Force members. Furloughs, reduced flying hours, and cuts to TDYs are just a few of the recent examples. While all of these are serious subjects and definitely impact our Airmen, I ask that each of you, step back and continue to focus on safety and caring for one another. Don't let the water cooler discussions or headlines from various news outlets discount your role in leading this great Air Force. Instead, use that energy in a positive way.

Let's start by turning our attention to spring and the impending summer trips to the beach. Use those opportunities to get out, exercise, and to build your resilience to the daily stressors. Our 18th Air Force commander recently challenged our wing commanders to encourage our Airmen to lead a healthy lifestyle. The word lifestyle truly encompasses the many facets of living healthy. It's not just the daily runs or trips to the gym, but the diet and choices each of us make to ensure a well-balanced life. It also includes filling your four pillars of resiliency to build the complete package, especially to help counter the many challenges we face daily.

This summer, make sure to take steps to ensure the success of those arriving to MacDill. Concerned sponsors and supervisors are critical to the success of our military families and our mission. Think back to when you arrived at MacDill. Did you have a great sponsor? Did they set you up for success? The mission is completed by military members, and military members are at their best when their family members are prepared. Take the time to set our newest members of the MacDill family up for success. You will be remembered.

Speaking of setting yourself up for success, it was recently announced that tuition assistance has been continued, helping everyone meet their education goals. We also learned that there are numerous other opportunities to continue your education: Pell grants, scholarships, GI Bill, CLEP and Dantes to name a few. We are the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen, partly because we are the best trained and educated force. Stay in school, stay competitive for promotion, and help keep the Air Force on top.

And don't forget to support our community right here on base. Many of you have a deployed member in your organization. Are you staying in touch with that member? Have you sent him or her a care package? Have you contacted their family to ensure they have what they need? Building a vibrant community on base starts with taking care of our own.
Stress is ever abundant and comes and goes. Being resilient and lending a hand to others in need cements the foundation of Airmanship. Remember, every new day is a chance for us to take care of ourselves, our families, and our brothers and sisters in arms. We have the best trained Airmen, supporting the most honorable mission - protecting the United States of America - while living in the most military-friendly community in the world. It is a great time to be in the United States military.