Ready Warriors connect during resilience initiative: Airmen’s Time

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Airlift Wing hosted the first iteration of Airmen’s Time at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Feb. 14, 2020.

The intent of Airmen’s time is to dedicate time for Airmen to step away from the mission and connect with their coworkers in a meaningful and purposeful way without the demands of their day-to-day tasks.

“This is an opportunity for folks to connect,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Justin Strain, 19th AW command chief. “We all come from different backgrounds, so giving people the opportunity to learn about others will help them lead, follow and trust the Airmen around them.”

Airmen’s Time is a continued effort pushed by U.S. Air Force Col. John Schutte, 19th AW commander, through his Resiliency Campaign Plan in response to the increased suicide rates Air Force wide.

This plan commenced with a resilience tactical pause allowing Airmen to come together and share candid feedback and concerns within the workplace while creating connections with supervision. After Schutte and his leadership team analyzed feedback, they developed ongoing efforts to bring the wing together.

This led to Phase I of the plan where Ready Warriors came together to complete a wing-wide survey, modified on-base dorms, showcased their missions at the Herk Nation Expo and Airmen joined together for Oktoberfest to finish off Wingman Day.

Phase I was ideal for some organizations, but not all units were able to participate due to mission requirements. This drove wing leadership toward a versatile day where shops could create their own schedule in accordance with training ensuring maximum wing-wide participation, which they named Airmen’s Time.

“My unit started the day with some good old-fashioned physical training, then upper leadership made breakfast for the squadron,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chance Wisdom, 19th Comptroller Squadron and Wing Staff Agencies first sergeant. “You cannot beat waffles, bacon, sausage and eggs to bring people together. After breakfast, we watched a military-based movie, discussed how it related to our operations and themes we could apply to our shop daily going forward.”

Since each unit was able to customize their day to fit their mission, Airmen were able to better understand how they fit into everyday operations while bonding during group activities.

“We look forward to leveraging these opportunities to continue connecting with our teammates,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Joson, 19th Operations Support Squadron first sergeant. “Connecting with Airmen is not a new practice, although dedicating time monthly helps put folks in that mindset, to truly focus. The framework of Airmen’s Time sets the foundation for daily connections.”