The Enlisted Perspective
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy
Remarks at the Air Force Association Conference and Technology Exposition, National Harbor Center at Oxon Hill, Md., Sept. 15, 2010
Good morning, everyone. Wow, it's a bright morning outside, it's good to see everybody in the audience today. I think one of my good friends, Gerald Murray is here today. Gerald, thank you so much for being here. I can see a couple of four stars. Sirs, thank you for being here. Of course General Reno, thank you for being here. Most importantly, let me thank all the Airmen for being here.
A couple of things I wanted to try do this morning is present from the enlisted force kind of a perspective, if you will. Of course as we talk about the enlisted perspective, we can't talk about that without talking about Airmen. That's kind of what I want to do as well. And then hopefully we'll have a little bit of time at the end to take a few questions.
Let's go ahead and get started.
This is what we're going to talk about this morning. This is kind of the road map, if you will. Some of the things that we're focused on, the three things that we're focused on -- ready or the joint/coalition fight; obviously deliberate development; and the purpose of that, the model, I know there are a lot of questions about that, at least we had a Command Chiefs Panel yesterday, a couple of days ago, there were an awful lot of questions about what was the definition of that. Hopefully I'll be able to clear some of that up here.
Then also how we look at building resiliency within our Airmen and their families, which is one of the areas that quite frankly it's going to take us a little more time than I think some others, but it's an area of focus that we need to continue to concentrate on. So let's go ahead and get started.
As we look at it, we certainly are a nation at war. I'll talk about that here in a minute a little bit more. But I just wanted to give you a snapshot of where our Airmen are, what our Airmen are doing. As I listened to the Admiral in the last presentation, from the joint force, a lot of times we look at it and say geez, we have about seven hundred and some thousand Airmen across our Air Force. Where are they all at? What are they doing?
As you can see from the slide, there's about 223,000 actively engaged every single day in some type of operation. That's roughly about 43 percent of the force. As you look at that and you think through that a little bit, it's easy to kind of focus, narrow in on those Airmen that are deployed forward somewhere. It's not only about those Airmen. It is about those Airmen but it's also about the other Airmen. It's about our global reach. It's about those Airmen in strategic airlift. It's about those Airmen that are at Global Strike Command. It's about those Airmen in Air Force Space Command that every single day they show up at their duty section they are engaging the combatant command.
So those are the areas that we need to focus on. We need to continue to tell that story. As we also look at, and sometimes we kind of let this go a little bit, but we also need to look at our Airmen that are forward stationed. We have them in Europe, we have them in the Pacific. That's a lot of Airmen that we have forward deployed and forward stationed somewhere. There's a purpose for that. Certainly a purpose for that and we should not forget that those Airmen as well serve our nation in a large way. We should never forget about that.
Where are we at as far as the joint/coalition fight? From my perspective once again, we're a nation at war. I've believed this since 2001. Obviously as you have as well. Again, from my perspective I think that, I was having a conversation with somebody just the other day, one of our industrial partners, and they said, "You know, Chief, from my view as I see it, not all of our nation is kind of focused on this war." That's not my view, that's one of our industrial partners. Of course they're attached to the military so they certainly see it. But they feel that maybe not everybody is focused on that. We need to continue to focus on that. We need to continue to tell those stories.
So what is it that we do out there? Again, we're in this joint and coalition fight in a very serious way. Joint fight, I think we're doing an excellent job. Coalition, I think we make extremely good partners in coalition. In fact one of the things that I've had an opportunity to do while here is meet with one of those partner nations. The senior leaders, along with the chiefs of staff of that different country. That's engagement. That's engagement for what our Airmen are doing every single day.
I think we make very solid partners, and as the Chief of Staff always says, we've got to be reliable partners, both in the joint community along with in that coalition fight. We do that in a very very large way.
Over the past year I've been on message to say that hey, we need to get into the joint and coalition fight, and quite frankly, I'm beginning to change my message. The reason being because of what I see out there. When I travel around in the battle space I see Airmen engaging our joint partners, our coalition partners, our interagency partners. We're there, we're doing it. We're doing an exceptional job. We need to complement each other on that.
Also when I look at this I think in terms of the precision. What is it that our partners request of us? They require precision. What do I mean by that? Obviously when talking about bombs, they want the precision to get the bomb in the right location. But there are other angles of this, other aspects of it. They want us to have precision to be able to do the things that we are kind of tasked to do. Be that technical expert. Follow those TOs. Be safe. Those are the things that our joint and coalition partners are asking us to do and that's what they expect of us and we're doing it.
How do we prepare people for this fight? As I like to say, and it's not just about the personal view but it's also what your wingman is doing. Many of you in here are supervisors. That's a large part of what your job is in supervising is making sure that your wingmen, your Airmen are prepared as well.
I'll give you a couple of items down here. Training. It's an area that we continue to focus on. I think we've stepped this out a little bit. We're continuing to increase it in a very positive way and I'll highlight a couple of points here. But as I mentioned, and when we talk about CST training, combat skills training, along with Combat Airman Skills Training that the U. S. Air Force does, the first one being the CST, that's what the Army does with our Airmen, those [Joint Expeditionary Tasking] Airmen that are going out. We've done this in a very positive way. I saw General Devereaux around here earlier today within the Expeditionary Center. What the Expeditionary Center does for our combat support forces is just amazing.
As I talked with General Devereaux and others about this, the fact that we have a TPP Squadron up there to talk about that combat support role, gathering that data as it comes back from the field and being able to present that back to the forces so that they can use it in a timely manner. That's awesome. That's exactly where we should be at. I think that's what we're getting out of places like the Expeditionary Center.
This training that we're talking about, some of the things that we are looking at doing. Obviously this is a bit of a challenge, but some of the things that we're looking at doing, I know the Chief of Staff has been asked this many times, I've been asked the question, I'm sure many of you have. Chief, I'm on my 8th rotation in CENTCOM. Do I really really need to go back through this Combat Airman Skills Training? Do I need to go back through the whole thing? I'm going back to the same mission, the same location. Do I really need to go back through the same thing?
One of the areas that we're looking at is this art called credentialing. That's something that we're going to have to really review, really study to get it right. The last thing we want to do is send people into combat that don't have the right training. We've got to step into this with caution, but it's an area that we need to look at because our Airmen are deploying at such a rate that we've got to catch up to it.
The fact is, many of our Airmen are less than one to one dwell, meaning that they were deployed for six months, they come back for six months, and that six months ends up turning into about four months because of everything else that's going on. We've got to get them back through training again. We have that reconstitution, then we get them back through training again, and then they're back out to the field. We've got to look at this.
Equipping. A couple of things when we talk about equipping our Airmen. When we talk about equipping our Airmen what I'm presenting to you is we have a lot of Airmen that operate outside the wire, an awful lot of Airmen that operate outside the wire. I'm looking at General North, because General North had a play in all this when I talk about the ABS-G. The ABS-G was set up, that's a set of flame-retardant gear that our Airmen are receiving. It's the pattern of our ABUs, but it's a set of gear that's flame retardant, and that Airmen can operate outside the wire safely with. Right now today we've got it about 90 percent fielded in Iraq. It looks like we'll have it 100 percent fielded here within about the next 60 days. That is a good news story.
Let me tell you about another good news story. I look out at General Reno. He and I have worked this pretty hard. It's this art of joint service solution for some of our other gear. The new one is the multi-cams, is kind of what people know it as. It's also called the OCP. You may be scratching your head as I was. OCP. What in the world? Talk me through this one. OCP means Operation Enduring Freedom (O) Camouflage Pattern. Now some of you may have read a couple of articles over the last few weeks and some called it the new ACU, some called it something else. It is truly a joint service solution. It's not an Army uniform, it's a joint service solution to this piece of gear. That's what it is. Again, it's flame retardant, resistant to that, so our Airmen who operate outside the wire, they're very effective.
Then you ask me, where are we going to build it at? Again, the OCP pattern was designed for Afghanistan. If you've read the articles, heard some things about it, and what we're talking about is our folks can get closer to the enemy. Obviously we're going to field this to those that operate outside the wire first. It looks like we'll start getting some of the production to some of our Airmen probably soon, this year, this fall, which we're very very close to. Those are for those Airmen operating outside the wire in Afghanistan.
We hope to be able to produce this in a quantity that we'll also be able to get it to other Airmen in Afghanistan as well. That's the idea.
So when we talk about readiness and training, that's how we prepare people for those deployments.
Let's talk about those Airmen for a little bit. The important part. Those Airmen.
As I share with you here, this young Staff Sergeant Barnes, a PJ from Kadena, operating, exercising at Kadena with some Marines. So I asked him, are we in the joint fight? Absolutely.
Here's an Airman that most of his career was probably spent within that joint community. Still continuing to exercise with them because we know that they will deploy forward probably soon.
I met with a few PJs not too long back, I know the Chief of Staff mentioned the helicopter crash back in June. He, the Secretary and myself got an opportunity to meet with the families, unfortunately, because of the deceased. I'll tell you, that particular community, PJs included, that particular community is stretched pretty thin. But I tell you, the positive attitudes that they have, the positive attitudes that their families have is just tremendous.
Another one. Master Sergeant Metcalf, Air National Guard. Stationed out in the CENTCOM theater somewhere. Then they get a call, he's a C-130 loadmaster. He gets a call saying hey, we've got this other problem in Pakistan. So here he is in Pakistan, loading up cargo in one of our locations in Afghanistan, carrying it to Pakistan, to give that humanitarian relief to those flood victims. That's what your nation does. That's what our Airmen do every single day. And it's people like Master Sergeant Metcalf that provide that capability.
Also as I look at this particular screen I think to myself, geez, sitting behind a computer screen. Well, a little bit more technical than just a computer screen. Senior Airman Escobar here is a missile warning technician, and he's out at one of our Air Force Space Command bases. In this particular case he's doing some exercises. But he's also one of the trainers for other missile warning technicians. But that's what our Airmen do every single day. He's one of the Airmen that we talk about when we say that our Airmen are in the fight. Because he works. Every single day he comes in, he's working for United States Strategic Command. That's what our Airmen are doing.
Also I would highlight to you Master Sergeant Oliver. Boy, here's a story. Let me talk about Master Sergeant Oliver for just a minute. Master Sergeant Oliver started his career as a soldier. He's from the Kentucky National Guard. That's where he started his career. He now is a part of the Kentucky Air National Guard. What is he doing in Afghanistan? As you can read down there, Agricultural Business Development Team. Simply what we call ADT. There's an interesting one. We have an Airman. What does he do in his spare time? He's a jet engine mechanic. Jet engine mechanic. What does he have to do with agriculture development? The guy has a Bachelor's degree from Emery-Riddle in aerospace mechanics. What does he know about it? He brings the skill forward, and I might add, here are some things we haven't really looked at is how do we capture this other part of what the Guard and Reserve provides to us? A set of capabilities. He also has an Associate Degree in horticulture. Think about that one for a minute. He's a farmer. He's out there working with soldiers. He's out there working with the Afghan provincial government, if you will, in developing their agricultural business development. That's what our Airmen are doing out there every single day.
Then I present to you Staff Sergeant Campbell. Staff Sergeant Campbell is an Air Force Global Strike Command Airman out at Whiteman. Right now what he's doing there is he's exercising, again, on Air Force Global Strike Command what they call challenge, but presenting that art of deterrence, if you will.
Listen, our adversaries know what our Airmen are. I've been around the world a few times. You have as well. When you talk to other nations, what is one of the first things they ask? Wow, what is that thing you call the enlisted force? That's a pretty neat thing. You talk about OJT, talk about those other elements. It's this right here that we're talking about. These Airmen are what we're talking about. That's what people are asking about. Staff Sergeant Campbell.
Also A1C Lairsey. Here he is out in Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Airman Lairsey. He hasn't been there very long, but here he's crewing up, he's an aircraft crew chief, but here he's crewing up an F-15 for its last run. Last run. Because what are we doing? We're bringing F-22s to the Air National Guard. Our most current technology we're bringing forward for the Air National Guard because of the role that they have. This young Airman Lairsey, that operates, crews these multi-million dollar aircraft. That's what our Airmen do. That's what our Airmen are.
Then there's Tech Sergeant Orvello. EOD technician. What a story. This young Airman, just like any other Airman, is out doing the mission. He's in Afghanistan as you might imagine. This is an actual scene from an IED attack in Afghanistan. What he's doing is he's trying to collect a little bit of data on who may have presented that IED and then maybe be able to track it back. That's what our Airmen are doing out there.
This young Airman First Class Bone. Geez, A1C out here, Ramstein Air Force Base, just doing vehicle maintenance. Really? Just doing vehicle maintenance. How do we get Airmen like this? They come in our Air Force a little bit older today, about 21, 22. But it's Airman Bone and her skills back at Ramstein that she's acquiring that she will carry forward to other locations.
Then there's the family. We think all the time about how we serve, how the Airmen serve every single day. One of the things that we realize is it's not only about us. It's about our families. That's why we serve. Correct? That's why we serve.
I would just like to highlight a couple of photos for you. First of all, Staff Sergeant White. Staff Sergeant White just returned on this picture from a six month deployment. He's a defender, went out with a 13 person team to Afghanistan. Just returning and he's got his four month old daughter Janelle in his hands. Think about that. He's been deployed six months. He's never even seen his young child before. That's what our Airmen are doing. That's what the family is committed to as well.
There's another family I want to present to you today. This family has a little bit more of, I'll say even though it starts off pretty somber, it also has a very very positive side to it as well. On your left up there you have a fine young lady getting married. At that time a senior airman, A1C. Staff Sergeant Berkey, Ryan Berkey, was killed a year ago Sunday. EOD technician, was killed in Afghanistan on an IED. The reason that came up, it came up actually this past week because of the young lady on the other side of Airman Berkey there, her name is Sonya. Sonya Berkey. That's his mother. I'll tell you, Sonya signs her letters as a very proud Air Force mom. The letter that we just received, again, was signed "A very proud Air Force mom."
Her husband Bill in the background there, obviously they're both grieving. But you see the young man off to the right hand side there? That's Jeremy. Jeremy is now an Airman. He's an Airman, he just finished basic training, just finished tech school, and he is going to be an RPA sensor operator. Hooah. What a story! And as Sonya wrote in her most recent letter, she tells us that all we have left are memories of Ryan, but what we see in Jeremy is he's continuing to make those memories. Talk about a family. Boy, if that doesn't give you chills. That's what our families are. That's what provides our security. That's what provides motivation for us.
I think we owe them a round of applause.
Let me get to another subject. How do we develop those Airmen? How do you take somebody from hometown USA and make them an Airman? Then all of a sudden make them a technician, if you will. How do you do that?
What we're embarking upon here is called deliberate development. I'd talk to you a little bit about it. Here's the purpose of it. Obviously it's a focus area. It's one of our priorities for the United States Air Force as you use there, both the Secretary and the Chief say that it's one of our priorities in development here for our Airmen and their families. It's one of the focus areas I have as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Let's continue to deliberately develop our Airmen. As you can see, I kind of want to share with you my thoughts on what this idea of deliberate development is.
I bring you to the last one. Experience, education and training. That's how I see I was developed, that's how I see we should develop our Airmen in the future. We've got to do it a little bit differently, though. We've got to change a little bit. When I first came in the Air Force in 1982, we were twice the size we are today. Twice the size. We don't have that luxury any more. As you've heard from this stage many times throughout this conference, resource tightening. We're half of who we were. But the capability, wow. We have capability because of our Airmen.
How do we look at developing them?
This is kind of what I call the lotto. This is what I see of how we're going to develop Airmen of the future.
First, I look at experiences. As I look at and I just shared with you those Airmen and how they were producing the capability to the combatant command, and being developed, I look at experiences.
Look at job rotation. Look at special duties, joint jobs. It's all inclusive. One of the things that we're looking at right now is how we manage this and what's the talent? How do we do that? How do we manage it so this piece, this enlisted talent that's so precious, how do we manage that talent? What we're looking at doing is providing some vectors to those Airmen through lack of better terms, "developmental teams," if you will, to give him a vector of assignment. That's not a [driver of] assignments, but at least it gives the assignment clerk an opportunity to say I can fit him into one of those three vectors. It gives him an idea that hey, this is where you're going to go.
Who's going to do this developmental theme, if you will? From my view, I think we need to have career field managers involved in this. I think we need to have senior leadership involved in this. I think we need to have for certain the colonels involved in this operation. Because it's vectoring how these Airmen are going to receive this experience for the future, and assignments is one of those.
Again, I just want to reiterate, one of the things it won't do, it's not going to just give you an assignment. It's going to vector you in a certain way and that's the idea behind this.
Education. One of the things as I talked to that partner nation yesterday, one of the things that they asked us about was our educational system. Both education and training, by the way. But the educational system and what we have.
We kind of take it for granted sometimes. We kind of take it for granted that we have this thing called Enlisted PME. You've got to go to ALS at this point in your career, you've got to go to NCO Academy at this point in your career, and Senior NCO Academy and Chief Leadership Course. We kind of take that for granted sometimes. I think we need to expand it out a little bit. A couple of areas I believe we need to expand it out in, we have already and I think it's working very well for us, is both in the joint side and on the coalition side. If we're going to operate that way we should be educating and training that way.
When I look at the education aspect, I look at the joint community, we have right now today two Airmen for the first time in about three years, probably four years that have gone to the U. S. Army Sergeant Major Academy. Now I ask you, have any of you ever operated with the Army before? Of course you have. Why would we miss those opportunities?
But here's some new stuff. If you noticed the picture up there on your right hand side, Master Sergeant Townsend. He's the one just getting ready to jump into the water. I might add, he's jumping into the water in New Zealand. It's winter there right now. We were just there. Chief McClean and I were just down there, and I will tell you, this young man is fired up. He is fired up. He is the Kadena NCO Academy Director of Operations. We sent him to this course in New Zealand to get this experience of working with partner nations. Putting him back into that particular environment that we're going to work from.
But the next step of this is, just like we've done now in Canada and in Singapore, we're going to give him full credit for United States Air Force Senior NCO Academy. That's good news. We've been doing that for many many years with our officer corps and it has worked perfectly. We need to do that with our NCOs as well, and we're doing that in a large way.
We'd like to look at some areas in Southern Command, also obviously within Europe to be able to do something like that as well and we will, we'll get there. But that's what our Airmen have to look forward to.
You're saying geez, I'm back here at Base X in hometown USAQ and I'd really like to go to Singapore to go to one of these schools. Okay, there's got to be a deliberate piece to why we would send you to that course. We're not just going to select you from Base X and hometown USA to deploy forward. If you're coming out and working on General North's staff or maybe Admiral Willard's staff or some place in Europe, then we would direct you to that particular location. So it's going to be much more deliberate than what it is today.
Let's talk a little bit about college education. Here's a good news story. Talk about CCAF, '72, I believe it was since we've had this program around? What a good news story. It's such a good news story that now there are a few of our congressmen that think it's so good that we can share it with others. That comes with a little bit of a cost, of course, but there's legislation in the system right now to look at for us to review how we would implement that across the entire Department of Defense. It's a good news story. CCAF is one of the highlights of our service, but there are other elements that have been added to it.
ABC, Associate to Bachelor Degree in Cooperation. There are 40-some different schools within that system right now that you can get a degree through. You can get a degree through. That is good news. The reason I say that is if I look at my own experience, I was a year away from finishing my Bachelor's degree and it took me about another six or seven years because I PCSd so many times. Our Airmen were losing credit every time they'd transfer. This is what AU has put together, what AETC has put together. That's what we're trying to do for our Airmen. That's how we're going to develop them for the future.
Another area we need to understand very very closely is that we send about 10 Airmen a year to AFIT. Ten enlisted Airmen a year to AFUT to receive their graduate level degree. Right now today, and this is up from about four Airmen across our Air Force to now 13 Airmen across our Air Force, and now we're looking at the slots to be a requirement to have a graduate level degree. There is an Airman out there doing those things and it is required. The frustrating part, we're sending 10 Airmen a year to these schools and they go right back to the same job. That's not deliberate. It's good to have it but they get kind of frustrated because they're not able to use that education. So we're going to continue to look at that model.
Training. Here's another good news story. I look at OJT. That's why we are where we are today. Every one of those Airmen I will tell you have had OJT. It's the responsibility of a supervisor, the responsibility of an NCO to continue to train those that follow them. It's our OJT program that everybody wants to have an idea how do we do this? How do we do this program? It's such a good news story. How do we do that?
We do it in such an efficient way that we've kind of gone a little bit maybe too far. What I mean by that is I think we need to bring it back into correction just a little bit. What I mean by that is we have about four different tracking systems right now for training reference. That's not efficient. That's not efficient at all. Because we've consolidated in other locations. Now we have some Airmen out there trying to figure out how do I do it this way, how do I do it that way? We have Airmen that are deployed forward while their supervisors are back and guess what they do? They swap. So how do we keep track of that training?
We need to have one tracking system for our training records. Right now our Air Force Learning Committee is looking at that. They're reviewing it, and we hope to have a few COAs up to the Vice Chief here real soon because it's that important. That's what we need to do.
I bring your attention to the next photo down at the bottom. Here's another interesting data point.
What we're doing here is we're doing a little bit of combatants. If you haven't caught on, we changed basic training on you. It was six weeks, it's eight and a half weeks now. We brought on the beast. What we were doing with the beast is trying to instill some more warrior ethos within our Airmen, and I think we've done that in a large way. This is the next step. For the officer corps we've been doing this for a few years now through the Air Force Academy and other programs that we bring our Airmen through. We do it down at ADC, the course that we have down at Maxwell. We do that again for them. Our enlisted Airmen are going to get into it as well in basic training. That's what we're going to do.
Our last training, BMT review, it just happened over the last spring, thought it necessary to bring on a combative for our enlisted Airmen. So your enlisted Airmen coming to you from basic training in the future are going to have combatants. We need to be able to exercise that. That's a good news story.
This one takes a little longer, I think. This is an area that we have got to continue to focus on. We have some very positive notes in there, but we also have some pretty somber notes in there.
When I look at this art of resiliency, I look in a large way to what a couple of our commands are doing with, some of them are calling it the Comprehensive Airman Fitness. It sounds an awful lot like the Army's program of comprehensive soldier fitness. That's okay. I think Chief Klukas may have mentioned it two days ago while up here on the podium. My view, as Ms. Poe and I will track off to Mortuary Affairs tomorrow morning up at Dover and talk with our Airmen up there that do that mission every single day. When you look at resiliency, I look at it in these kind of angles. You cannot be one single focus. It's got to have different elements to it. That program that they have at Dover I think is kind of a model.
It has these four elements. It has physical, mental spiritual, along with an emotional angle to it. So we're giving these to our Airmen. The key is, give them the tools before they need it. It's not just another program, we've got to prevent them from doing that. It cannot be just another program. It's got to be heartfelt. We've got to make sure our Airmen are given those tools before they need them. It's not before they deploy, it's right out of the shoot. It's right in basic training. It's in tech school. It's all the way through a person's career. We've got to continue to instill resiliency within our Airmen and families.
Another area, that next line down there. I kind of separate it a little bit from resiliency just a little bit, in that it is a part of resiliency but it's not only resiliency, and that's the Deployment Transition Center. Again, very very positive story in that we, Air Force leadership, found it necessary to take those Airmen operating outside the wire, kind of use them to experience with OSI was doing with their Airmen operating outside the wire. And when we bring them back through Ramstein, these Airmen back through Ramstein, we're able to sit down with them for about a day and a half and just talk with them. Just talk with them. With their peers. Some of the feedback we were getting on earlier kind of landing gear, if you will, is I'm not going to talk. You sit me in that room with people who were deployed to a different location, don't have the same experiences I do. I'm not going to talk.
If we sit them down with the same like mission set and same like people, they will begin to open up. We have experts there, we have trained professionals there that will help them walk through this. We certainly would like to get to the point of how do we treat our families that are living with us as well. I think that's a very very positive story of what your Air Force leadership has done over the last year.
By the way, the feedback that General Reno and I get all the time has been just out of this world. There's a little bit of hesitation because we're keeping them about another day and a half, two days, but the positive angle to that is what they get out of it. I think it's worth it.
Taking care of our families, I just mentioned.
Here's another serious point to make. Suicides. You heard it from the stage again this week. The fact is we're kind of at an all-time high. This year we're at 71. Last year at the same time we were at 56. Two more Airmen have been added to those roles over the last weekend. Two more Airmen. Nobody's exempt from this. Young Airmen, very senior Airmen. Nobody's exempt from this.
You may be asking what are the core things that we're seeing out of some of these? There are two primary things that we see out of suicides. The two primary things, number one, this point of relationships. Relationships. A lot of people say we can't include the fact that we're deployed all the time, but it does have an effect on relationships. There are other factors that have an effect on a relationship. It's not just about the marriage. Husband and wife kind of relationship. It's other relationships.
Our Airmen coming to us, I'll say this as bluntly as I can. My son, one of my sons, he has a man cave now. You all know what a man cave is? [Laughter]. I cleaned my garage out the other day for the [Outstanding Airmen of the Year social] when they came over and I'm looking for my son. Where is Caleb? I found him. He's in the garage. He's got a TV set up and he's got the PS2 going out there, and that's his man cave, as he tells me. I'm thinking where is the social piece of this? You need to be out, son. Get out of the man cave. Come out here.
A lot of our Airmen are coming in with that same mindset. Relationship.
One of the things that our chaplain service has done for us and quite frankly General Richardson, he and I have talked about this on numerous occasions, is the fact that some marriage enrichment seminars, I've mentioned this before in some other forums, I know in USAFE General Brady and Chief Derrow have funded it off their roles over the last year, but now the Air Force is going to fund it as well. We've had about 25 different seminars since calendar year '08 and '10. What we're looking at in the future is that we're going to have about 34 different seminars this coming year and then about 56 the following year, and then it's POM'd. That's a piece of it. It's not the only piece of it. We need to look at also our single Airmen. But that is a piece of it. We need to get after the relationship piece.
What's the other one? Finances. That's the other angle that a lot of our Airmen are struggling with. We have got to look at and be able to educate our Airmen on this art of kind of living outside your means a little bit. I often tell the story of a young Airman that I met, a young technical sergeant, that came to me at one of the bases I was at and told me they were upside down in their house, they had just PCS'd in, they were upside down in their house back in Vegas, they come all the way to the East Coast. Her husband, not active duty, has actually taken on a civilian job in the CENTCOM theater and she's a technical sergeant, just to make ends meet. They're so upside down on their house they can't get rid of it in Vegas. Obviously there's been some positive things that came out of Congress that have helped with some of that, but not all of it. We've got to help continue to educate our Airmen on finances.
Here's another angle to that. I mentioned resiliency. That's a piece of how we get to this suicide, from my view. The other one, a piece of that, is the Wingman Program. Every single one of us know about the Wingman Program. Every single one of your wings, your MAJCOMs, whatever level you are, have a Wingman Program. I'd like to highlight one of those to you.
One of them is Air Force ISR Agency. Here's a piece that a lot of times we think Wingman Program, geez, this is another thing that's been added to our plate. A lot of Airmen tell me that. It's not. It's not. It's about taking care of each other. It's looking not just one on one, but one-V-everybody. You've got to take care of Airmen.
What they've done is put a little bit of a positive spin to it. I will tell you as I've talked to the command chief and the commander, they've actually had a couple of suicide saves, potential suicide saves, from just turning it into a positive kind of angle, if you will.
So congratulations to them. I think we need to continue to make our Wingman Programs very very robust. IT's an angle that we need to continue to hit. But we've got to get after the suicide piece.
So what have we talked about? Again, we talked about the joint/coalition fight. Where I see our Airmen and how we develop them. A deliberate development model. A purpose and model. Then again, the other one I think is a little more time consuming, if you will, and it's something that is certainly important for all of our Airmen and their families and how we continue to build resiliency within those Airmen and families.
With that, I think I may have just a few minutes. Actually, we're out. I'll turn it back over to Sandy.