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Resilience For Life

  • Published
  • By Col. J. Scot Heathman
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- As we enter the final month of the year, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a document I’ve been working on since the end of Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein's directed “Resiliency Tactical Pause.” During this time, all wings spent time discussing the rising rates of suicide and a need to become a more resilient workforce. However, the pause is not enough, and we all know "resiliency" is more than a “one and done” event. I’d like to kick off an enduring effort here at Team Scott. Simply, I’m asking you all to take an active role in a campaign called “Resilience For Life." #R4L 


Attached is a document that serves as a conversation starter. Within, you’ll find thoughts and ideas on what some Airmen feel causes a loss of resilience. It also combines all the feedback I collected during the three design thinking sessions held in the Wing Conference Room last quarter with various Airmen and Helping Agencies. Those that participated provided some incredible feedback, which aided follow-on discussions with our helping agencies and commanders. Please take the time to read what some Airmen believe cause hopelessness and stigmas in seeking help, as well as ideas we can incorporate as organizations to increase resilience. You’ll also find some useful hyperlinks to additional support material in the back page.


After reading, share your thoughts/ideas within small groups (squadrons, flights, sections, etc.) on how you can find ways to increase resilience and connectedness both personally and as a team. And then I need you to do the hardest thing of all….take action! Own this as a unit, and craft your own plans/programs to tackle some of the challenges that are unique to you and your organization. We cannot afford to stand on the sidelines and watch this effort go by. The key to baking resilience into our everyday lives is to take action now by sharing your own personal experiences with each other and start getting after things that matter most to unit cohesion and personal/professional development. And yes, it may involve choosing to STOP doing things that do not support this effort. I challenge you to find the things that are no longer useful and cut them out of your daily work. Discuss as a team, what you need to do less of and re-focus on what’s most important.


My overall intent for this document is to serve as a spark of inspiration to bake resilience into our everyday lives. Maj. Whitney Hasbrouck, 375th Mental Health Flight commander, put it best when she said, “We’re playing the long game, and this is just a first step.” We have to continuously work on this day after day. I intend to keep this effort clearly in my sights under my priority of “Caring for Self, Family and Others.” You are all amazing human beings, but certainly not immune to life’s challenges. Together, we can better help and support one another and overcome these challenges.


Thank you all for your serving our country and for serving each other. I truly enjoy serving you!


Resiliency For Life PDF