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Enlisted town hall takeaway; you do not walk alone

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Chief Master Sgt. Kahn Scalise, the 302nd Airlift Wing command chief, hosted an enlisted town hall at the base auditorium here June 1, to speak directly with the wing's enlisted Reserve Citizen Airmen about wellness, resilience and communication.

Echoing a priority set forth by Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, the Chief of the Air Force Reserve, Scalise started the town hall discussing the growth of resilient leaders and self-care.

"It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help," Scalise said. "No matter what weight you're carrying on your shoulders, you do not walk alone. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget to take care of your physical and mental wellness, so make sure you’re setting time aside to take care of yourself. If you’re not getting the assistance you need, I want you to call me."

To ensure all in attendance could reach out to him, Scalise had the audience take out their cell phones and add his number to their contacts.

 “Communication should be a two-way street, and feedback should be continuous, open and goal oriented,” he said. “Feedback from supervisors should be conversational, not directive. And Airmen should be comfortable asking for it.”

Scalise encouraged the crowd to seek mentors that challenge them to step out of their comfort zones and to walk through that door of opportunity when it presents itself. He shared a story about one of his own that set him on the path to the position he holds today.

As a technical sergeant, Scalise was approached by his mentor, a first sergeant, who pushed him to become an additional duty first sergeant. Though resistant and uncomfortable with that new responsibility, Scalise ended up taking on that challenge and said it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made and he knew from that experience that his passion was about taking care of people.

Prior to the unit training assembly, Scalise set up a feature on the wing’s Air Force Connect App that allows Airmen to send feedback or questions directly to him with the option of remaining anonymous. The Air Force Connect app is available for free on the Google Play and the Apple App Store.

"You have a voice here," said Scalise. "I need your ideas, and I need your thoughts and experiences to make this a better wing and ensure that we're continuing to move forward."

The town hall was broken into in three sessions for each tier of the enlisted force structure: junior Airmen, noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers.

"I wanted to thank each and every one of them for their service, dedication and sacrifice," said Scalise. "I had to let them know firsthand that I'm there for them and that I take care of them, not the other way around."