SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Dear Showcase Airman, Two weeks ago you put your talents and expertise on display during our exercise week. By mid-week, the “real world” unexpectedly intervened when we received a call from a local police department about a potentially armed and dangerous person who may be on Scott AFB. Upon notification, you immediately jumped into action, relying on your training, discipline, instincts and resilience to guide us toward a safe and successful outcome. We apprehended the subject in less than two hours. By Thursday, we were able to resume our exercise and pick-up where we left off. This represents just one story of how you get after the mission each day. It serves as another reminder why we are proud to serve this wing and with you all.
We acknowledge and appreciate all the work you’ve put in these past seven months. There’s no question we’ve overcome a lot together. You continue to meet unforeseen challenges and get the mission done, no matter what! We also see the look in your eyes that indicates there’s more going on in your lives. We hear you when you say, “I’m maxed out.” We understand the personal stressors in your lives and share many of your frustrations. As your wingmen and teammates, we want you to know we see you and hear you. You are NOT alone.
These past few months challenged many of us in ways we couldn’t imagine. We recognize some of us are hurting more than others. Given this, we encourage you to listen and lean into your teammates a little more these days. We are at our very best when we rely on each other for comfort and support. This is our purpose … our why: Elevating Others! So where do we start? Please join us by committing to three times during your day or week to create the conditions necessary to reduce stress and build resilience in both your life and the lives of those around you.
1. Take time to reflect. Autumn is here and the leaves are changing. There is a crispness in the air that reminds us that winter is coming. Just like the squirrels that run around the base terrorizing our neighborhoods, we need to prepare for the upcoming winter and put positive coins in our Resiliency Bank. Now is the time to make sure we have the healthy habits in place to carry us through the upcoming winter. Are you getting enough sleep? Do you have an effective exercise routine? Do you have a balanced diet? Maybe it’s time to start some mindfulness exercises or finalize that winter reading list. Use some reflection time to make sure your priorities and goals are clearly defined. Share them with someone who can serve as your accountability partner to keep you on course. Living a life according to the priorities we determine and set is one of the toughest things humans do. It is critical to ensure we bring our entire "selves" to work and to each other.
2. Take time to create and cultivate at least one new connection each week. Now, more than ever, we need to connect with and care for each other. We challenge you to reach out to the person that may be new or may not have a good network to ensure we leave no one behind. Maybe it’s a new neighbor or someone not even in your section that you feel ‘called’ to connect with. People matter most! It feels good to know that we’re cared for and someone is thinking about us. Relationships matter and will carry us through to the next challenge we face…together. If we each take time to connect, to just one person, we will live out our why of “elevating others.”
3. Take time for fun. This is one of our Chief of Staff’s newest priorities. We echo General Brown: “You have permission to bake fun into the work you do and into your daily lives.” This week, yes during the work week, we ask you to take time for yourself to play and have fun. When was the last time you did something without purpose, just for fun, without feeling guilty that you were “wasting time?” Yes, we’re in a very serious business, but it must be balanced with time to relax and have fun. So do just that – HAVE FUN!
Beyond these asks, we know there are times when life happens … when things outside our control take hold and times seem desperate. We must commit to each other, should we find life’s pressures build beyond our capabilities, to seek help. We personally know how difficult it is to ask for help in our line of work. The three of us have faced some incredible challenges in our personal lives and it was the help we asked for that made all the difference. Asking for help is a sign of extreme courage and strength and it’s incredibly powerful to witness. Regardless of your perceptions, reach up, extend your hand and ask for help. Team Scott is ready to support you and your families. ALWAYS!
We are confident our Showcase Wing will continue to surpass any challenge we encounter. We’ve proven that, again and again. It is a time to harvest and get ready for the next season ahead that we will face together. Let’s continue to build resiliency in ourselves and each other by taking the next three steps together (reflect, connect, and play). Additionally, let’s commit, together, to ask for help when needed. Do it for your teammates; do it for those you call family; do it for YOU.