CSAF, CMSAF release videos reinforcing resiliency, wingmen culture

  • Published
  • By G.W. Pomeroy
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
The Air Force chief of staff and chief master sergeant of the Air Force have released public service announcements Sept. 20 to reinforce the importance of resiliency and encourage all Airmen to look out for one another.

Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy also drove home a key point to Airmen that seeking help is a sign of strength.

"It's important, now more than ever, we continue to build our strength," Schwartz said in his video. "Good wingmen stay ready for the mission -- physically and emotionally."

The general also stressed teamwork and encouraged Airmen to stay attuned to their own well-being.

"A big part of being effective wingmen is looking out for each other," he said. "It's recognizing if you or someone around you is having problems. It's getting help early, before a crisis develops. Asking for help or getting help for your wingman -- these are signs of strength.

Roy delivered a similar message, but also touched on resilience, a key theme he continues to address during his discussions with Airmen around the world.

"You are fit," Roy said. "You are resilient. You are men and women who are not afraid to stand for what you believe and fight to keep each other safe from harm. As Airmen, we have chosen to look out for each other. Be good wingmen. Know that asking for help, or getting help for a buddy, is a sign of strength."

The PSAs are part of ongoing Air Force strategic communications efforts geared toward ensuring Airmen are aware of the numerous resources at their disposal and to promote help-seeking behavior, officials said.

According to Air Force officials, all wingmen have two key responsibilities. The first is to keep themselves physically and mentally fit to perform the mission, while getting help when necessary to maintain peak performance. The second is to help identify warning signs in the Airmen around them and to intervene to ensure others get help when needed.

Leaders use multiple forums to strengthen the wingman culture in units and to affirm the positive aspects of seeking help when needed, officials said. All Air Force units participate in semi-annual wingman days, during which small group formats are used to strengthen unit cohesion; examine stress and challenges at the unit level; discuss when, where and how to seek help; and reiterate Air Force core values and the critical role of wingmen.

Although the resilience of the overall force has been remarkable, the effects on the force are evident and the wear and tear is accumulating, Air Force Medical Service officials said. Encouraging service members to focus on recovery, restoration and balance in every dimension of their lives is one approach to protecting service members from negative outcomes.