Recently, Betty Welsh, the Air Force Chief of Staff’s wife, sat down to answer a few questions for an Air Force spouse tweet chat, focusing on the Air Force family.
Question: What’s it like to be the CSAF’s wife?
Answer: Awesome, surreal, stressful, exciting, overwhelming and spectacular.
Question: What do you plan to do to make tomorrow’s Air Force better than today’s?
Answer: Making sure we take care of our Airmen and families and educating them on available programs. I plan to communicate with Airmen and families and develop programs that cater to resiliency and retainment.
Question: I’m in the psychology field dedicated to soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Have you had to deal with any of that on your end?
Answer: We’ve come a long way in recognizing those suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The Air Force is working hard on programs to help our wounded warriors deal with these challenging issues.
Question: Mrs. Amos recently came out with a suggested reading list for military families. Is there one for USAF families in the works?
Answer: Yes! The list will be available the first week in December, and many of the items on Mrs. Amos’ list will be applicable to Air Force families.
Question: What are some resources for Air Force spouses with careers?
Answer: White House Joining Forces Initiative and the Military Spouses Employment Program are two resources I would encourage spouses to utilize. The MSEP encourages companies to hire military spouses and is available to all military spouses in all services. For more information, visit MSEP.
Question: Is Tactical Air Control Party a challenging job to get into?
Answer: Yes, TACP is very challenging, both physically and mentally. For more information, contact your local recruiter or visit the Air Force Recruiting Facebook page here.
Question: If somebody told you they were considering the Air Force, what would you recommend to them?
Answer: If somebody told me they were considering joining the Air Force, I would tell them they won’t find a better service to be a part of.
Question: What is the biggest challenge facing Air Force spouses today?
Answer: The biggest challenge I see is managing families and careers with the increased operations tempo of today’s military to include deployments.
Question: With the recent changes to basic military training, will there be more focus on strengthening military training instructor families? More kid friendly marriage retreats?
Answer: There are many recommendations that are coming out of the BMT review, and we are looking at all of them and how to best implement. Our goal is to make a healthy environment for all.
Question: Being a military family, how has social media helped you stay connected with friends and family?
Answer: It’s a great tool and makes it much easier to stay connected with family and friends. With our busy lifestyles, it is very easy to stay connected with many people by simply jumping online.
Question: A lot of off-base fitness centers have free or low cost childcare. Do you think something similar could be implemented on base?
Answer: Yes, it’s something we are very seriously looking at. Where there is space, we have established mother/child fitness rooms; however, because we are not able to build new facilities, we are trying to do the best we can with our current facilities.