HomeNewsArticle Display

Family Support Panel focuses on connecting people, living Air Force life

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) -- Air Force subject matter experts on total force family support met during the 2017 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Sep. 18, 2017.

According to the panel, life in the Air Force can present unique challenges, but Airmen must remain committed to each other.

“Every Airman is unique, and every family member is unique,” said Daniel Sitterly, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “Every military installation and base is like a handmade wooden shoe – they are all different. If we don’t find the perfect fit for you and your families’ needs, then all we’ll ever address are the blisters on our heels.”

Some resources are uniquely tailored to Airmen and families including Military OneSource, and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program the panel said.

In addition to a number of resources mentioned, Sitterly encouraged the use of “touch points,” asking supervisors to engage more with their Airmen. Furthermore, Airmen are encouraged to connect with their peers and leadership to share their unique family needs.  

“We are charged with looking at the policies and statutes that prevent our commanders from getting those families into those shoes that fit them well,” Sitterly explained.  

While there are many programs out there, panel members want Airmen to speak up about what they need first...time with family.

“When I’ve asked my family what they remember about Air Force family support, they each mentioned different things – recreation, youth centers, child care access and more,” Sitterly said. “However, in the end, what my family told me was all of the programs were great, but they wanted to spend more time with Dad, me. When our Airmen are not deployed, every minute they can spend with families becomes quality time used to create positive memories.”

Panel members explained ways the Air Force remains focused on the well-being and care for each other and their families, particularly in the realm of family resiliency.

“We have lots and lots of opportunities for programs that work with resiliency,” Sitterly said. “But it goes back to those touch points with our Airmen. We don’t have enough opportunities for our Airmen to get together with their supervisors...and talk about their challenges.”

While there are a number of resources at Airmen’s disposal, the best programs are successful when first sergeants and first-line supervisors are engaged, he said.

“What are you doing to live an Air Force life,” asked Sitterly. “What are you doing to make sure your Airmen around you are resilient? This is about connecting people, helping them live an Air Force life. We just need to know what your challenges are. If you have a need and we don’t know, we can’t help you. Help us help you.”

For more information on family support programs, Airmen are encouraged to contact their local Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: New Academy telescope will be largest available for public viewing in Colorado. https://t.co/0e4AJJTHUn https://t.co/uHT0Mb…
RT @DepSecDef: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett on confirmation as the 25th Secretary of the @usairforce. A businesswoman, attorney, dipl…
RT @30thSpaceWing: #DYK –VAFB is partially powered by a 200 acre, 28MW solar array, reducing its electrical demand by 35%, saving the base…
RT @WrightPattAFB: An @AFResearchLab team recently delivered version 2.0 of the Survival Health Awareness Responders Kit (SHARK) to @usairf
Watch the video of Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett being sworn in. Click the link to learn more about… https://t.co/agE0mT2cFj
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett, the 25th @SecAFOfficial. I know she will lead the charge to modernize @usairforce operati…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It’s a great day to be an Airman. Today Barbara Barrett officially became our 25th @SecAFOfficial. The men and women…
RT @DeptofDefense: Fill em up! ⛽ KC-135 Stratotankers from @RAFMildenhall refueled over 80 F-15s in a two-day exercise, offloading 480,000…
RT @SecAFOfficial: Today I officially became the 25th Secretary of the #AirForce. I'm conscious of the extraordinary privilege of working w…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: #BomberTaskForceEurope 20-1 is in full swing and B-52s from @TeamBarksdale are operating out of RAF Fairford to improve bomb…
RT @EsperDoD: During #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth, I challenge all @DeptofDefense employees to stay committed, ensuring they are following…
RT @AirNatlGuard: Special Delivery! ✈️📦 The @109thAW teamed up with the @RCAF_ARC for Operation Boxtop, an annual resupply mission to suppo…
We strive to increase our Airmen's lethality and capabilities. Learn about firefighters leading the cost-effective… https://t.co/Nrgx3BSrtl
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett for her overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by @SenateGOP & @SenateDems to be the 25th Se…
Gen. Stephen Wilson visited Houston to help #SpaceCity celebrate #AstronautWeek. He visited @spacecenterhouston and… https://t.co/Nymvd98qvQ
Our Airmen continuously work to strengthen our alliances. Learn more about how EOD partnered with Niger Armed Force… https://t.co/VwRIOnBokn
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of #HoustonWeHavePodcast by @NASA_Johnson where Gen Wilson joins Air Force Colon… https://t.co/Y7u9cHFtOt
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This is an exciting day for our Air Force. Secretary Barrett brings an incredible background and a level of strategic…
The Senate has confirmed the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett. https://t.co/Y6kDGD5eds