By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
One of the biggest challenges facing the Air Force today is maintaining operational readiness and warfighting capabilities to meet the requirements of combatant commanders. The statement above includes many “strategic” words we hear from leadership at commander’s calls and other events, but they should impact every Airman wearing the uniform. All of us are work to accomplish the mission daily, which ensures the Air Force is ready to fight and win the nation’s wars.
Air Force senior leaders have the daunting task of getting us the right equipment and resources to meet and exceed the nation’s expectations. But, as Airmen, we are responsible for getting our personal readiness aligned with our leader’s strategies and vision for the future.
For me, personal readiness encompasses performing my job to the best of my ability and making sure my family and other aspects of my personal life are in order so I’m always ready to deploy or go on temporary duty assignments. This can be a difficult if you try to tackle it all at once, but I’ve found that breaking it down into groups of smaller tasks has helped me more easily manage work and family issues. When you have a plan to sync up your Air Force and personal responsibilities, it will help you reach your goal of attaining personal readiness that’s good for you, your family, the Air Force and the nation.
You may be asking yourself, where should I start? My advice is to talk with your supervisor to ensure you have received the proper training to do your job at your current skill level. Completing upgrade training for your next skill level and learning new tasks and programs related to your career field will also ensure your toolkit is sharpened when the time comes to fulfill a deployment tasking or other mission requirement.
Being an Airman is hard in itself, but doing our part with our families and loved ones is also integral to our service. Our families depend on us to keep them informed when we are tasked to deploy, change duty stations, or take on new duties that require more time away from home. They need to know what resources are available to them on base and from your unit. If your family is new to the Air Force, you’ll need to explain how they can receive support and assistance when you’re away. Support can come from a variety of people, including coworkers, supervisors, first sergeants, and Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) representatives. They can help with anything from mowing your lawn while you’re deployed, to getting financial assistance through the Air Force Aid Society and other agencies.
Communication and planning are essential to dealing with the challenges that come with military service. To help my family overcome most of these challenges, we leveraged a couple resources at the A&FRC to help us find constructive ways to deal with family separation issues and make financial management decisions. The Air Force also has the Key Spouse Program to specifically address the needs of Air Force families during deployments or when their Airmen are called to support other contingencies.
Fitness and Nutrition
For some, maintaining good nutrition and working out at least three times per week comes naturally. For others, it takes a consistent effort to get to the gym before or after work to meet Air Force fitness standards. For me, creating a weekly routine and building a list of short and long-term fitness goals keeps me focused and makes fitness a priority in my life.
Nutrition also plays a huge role in a person’s overall health and well-being, and I recommend visiting an Air Force Health and Wellness Center trained nutritionist to assist you with creating a custom fitness and nutrition program. They can even help you quit smoking!
I’ve just touched on some of the ways you can increase your personal and family readiness, but there is plenty more to learn about it from your supervisors, first sergeants, command chiefs and other Airmen. Balancing these priorities can be tricky, but outlining your goals and finding others to support your efforts will help you succeed.
What advice would you give an Airman on managing their personal readiness?